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Wong A.M.K.,Chang Gung Memorial Hospital No. 5 | Wong A.M.K.,Chang Gung University | Chou S.-W.,Chang Gung Memorial Hospital No. 5 | Chou S.-W.,Chang Gung University | And 7 more authors.
Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics | Year: 2011

It remains unclear whether Tai Chi Chuan (TCC) instead of swimming yields a training-specific effect on dynamic balance. The objective of the present study is to test if the practice of TCC provides a distinctive benefit of balance in the elderly. The participants in TCC (n= 32) and swimming groups (n= 20) practiced regular swimming and TCC respectively for at least 3 years before the recruitment. Thirty-four healthy and active elderly volunteers were also recruited as the control group. To evaluate balance, we used SMART Balance Master that yields balance parameters including maximal stability, center-of-pressure velocity, and percentage ankle strategy obtained under six different balance conditions. We evaluated eye-hand coordination by measuring the movement time required to accurately point from one target to the next. In the most challenging balance conditions, the TCC group performed significantly better than the swimming and control groups. In eye-hand coordination tasks, both the TCC and swimming groups yielded significantly shorter movement time compared with the control group; however, no significant difference was observed between them. We concluded that both TCC and swimming improve eye-hand coordination in the elderly. However, TCC yields a better training effect on dynamic balance. © 2010 .

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