The Open Public Health Journal

ISSN: ― Volume ,

The Effectiveness of Tai Chi Exercise in Improving Balance and Preventing Falls Among Older Adults

Boonsri Kittichittipanich1, Wichitra Kusoom2, *
1 College of Nursing and Health, Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University, Bangkok 10300, Thailand
2 Faculty of Nursing Science, Bangkok Thonburi University, Bangkok 10170, Thailand



Accidental falls in older adults cause serious health problems, therefore, Tai Chi exercise (TC) is important to help older adults regain body balance and prevent falls.


This study aimed to assess: 1) the effect of a 12-week TC intervention on lower extremity strength and body balance in older adults, 2) recent falls within 12 weeks, and 3) participants’ satisfaction toward TC exercise.


A quasi-experimental study was conducted, and the participants were older adults, aged 60 and above. One hundred participants were selected by a purposive sampling technique and were divided into 2 groups: the experimental group (n=50) performing the TC exercise, and the control group (n=50) not performing TC. The lower-extremity strength was measured by using a dynamometer, and the body balance was measured by using a timed single leg stance procedure.


The findings revealed that lower-extremity strength was not significantly different in three time periods: pre-TC, after 6 weeks, and after 12 weeks within the experimental group and also after 12 weeks between the experimental group and control group. The body balance within the experimental group in the three time periods was significantly different (p<.001). Multiple pair comparisons by using the Bonferroni test indicated that phase 3 (a 12-week) was significantly higher than phase 1, and phase 2 (p<.05).

However, the effect of a 12-week TC intervention on the body balance of the experimental group was significantly higher than that of the control group (p<.001). The number of recent falls and near falls within 12 weeks in the control group was 14%, with 10% falls occurring outdoors and 4% occurring indoors, whereas the experimental group did not report any falls and showed satisfaction towards the TC exercise.


The findings of the study confirm that TC exercise improves body balance and helps reduce the risk of falls in older adults, while the group of older adults who did not undergo TC exercise suffered an increased risk of falls. These results should be applied and implemented among older adults and other groups of populations in different geographic locations and other clinical settings who are at the risk of falls. Also, the study on TC exercise should be extended to 6-12 months so that concrete results from improving lower-limb strength and body balance can be observed.

Keywords: Improving balance, Lower extremity strength, Older adults, Tai Chi exercise, Accidental falls, Lower-limb strength.

Article Information

Identifiers and Pagination:

Year: 2019
Volume: 12
First Page: 465
Last Page: 471
Publisher Id: TOPHJ-12-465
DOI: 10.2174/1874944501912010465

Article History:

Received Date: 23/05/2019
Revision Received Date: 07/10/2019
Acceptance Date: 29/10/2019
Electronic publication date: 16/12/2019
Collection year: 2019

© 2019 Kittichittipanich and Kusoom.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: ( This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at Faculty of Nursing Science, Bangkok Thonburi University, Bangkok 10170, Thailand; Tel: +662- 800-6808;
Fax: +662- 800-6806; Mobile: +6681- 821-9521;
Email:, wichitra.kus@

Track Your Manuscript:


"Open access will revolutionize 21st century knowledge work and accelerate the diffusion of ideas and evidence that support just in time learning and the evolution of thinking in a number of disciplines."

Daniel Pesut
(Indiana University School of Nursing, USA)

"It is important that students and researchers from all over the world can have easy access to relevant, high-standard and timely scientific information. This is exactly what Open Access Journals provide and this is the reason why I support this endeavor."

Jacques Descotes
(Centre Antipoison-Centre de Pharmacovigilance, France)

"Publishing research articles is the key for future scientific progress. Open Access publishing is therefore of utmost importance for wider dissemination of information, and will help serving the best interest of the scientific community."

Patrice Talaga
(UCB S.A., Belgium)

"Open access journals are a novel concept in the medical literature. They offer accessible information to a wide variety of individuals, including physicians, medical students, clinical investigators, and the general public. They are an outstanding source of medical and scientific information."

Jeffrey M. Weinberg
(St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, USA)

"Open access journals are extremely useful for graduate students, investigators and all other interested persons to read important scientific articles and subscribe scientific journals. Indeed, the research articles span a wide range of area and of high quality. This is specially a must for researchers belonging to institutions with limited library facility and funding to subscribe scientific journals."

Debomoy K. Lahiri
(Indiana University School of Medicine, USA)

"Open access journals represent a major break-through in publishing. They provide easy access to the latest research on a wide variety of issues. Relevant and timely articles are made available in a fraction of the time taken by more conventional publishers. Articles are of uniformly high quality and written by the world's leading authorities."

Robert Looney
(Naval Postgraduate School, USA)

"Open access journals have transformed the way scientific data is published and disseminated: particularly, whilst ensuring a high quality standard and transparency in the editorial process, they have increased the access to the scientific literature by those researchers that have limited library support or that are working on small budgets."

Richard Reithinger
(Westat, USA)

"Not only do open access journals greatly improve the access to high quality information for scientists in the developing world, it also provides extra exposure for our papers."

J. Ferwerda
(University of Oxford, UK)

"Open Access 'Chemistry' Journals allow the dissemination of knowledge at your finger tips without paying for the scientific content."

Sean L. Kitson
(Almac Sciences, Northern Ireland)

"In principle, all scientific journals should have open access, as should be science itself. Open access journals are very helpful for students, researchers and the general public including people from institutions which do not have library or cannot afford to subscribe scientific journals. The articles are high standard and cover a wide area."

Hubert Wolterbeek
(Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands)

"The widest possible diffusion of information is critical for the advancement of science. In this perspective, open access journals are instrumental in fostering researches and achievements."

Alessandro Laviano
(Sapienza - University of Rome, Italy)

"Open access journals are very useful for all scientists as they can have quick information in the different fields of science."

Philippe Hernigou
(Paris University, France)

"There are many scientists who can not afford the rather expensive subscriptions to scientific journals. Open access journals offer a good alternative for free access to good quality scientific information."

Fidel Toldrá
(Instituto de Agroquimica y Tecnologia de Alimentos, Spain)

"Open access journals have become a fundamental tool for students, researchers, patients and the general public. Many people from institutions which do not have library or cannot afford to subscribe scientific journals benefit of them on a daily basis. The articles are among the best and cover most scientific areas."

M. Bendandi
(University Clinic of Navarre, Spain)

"These journals provide researchers with a platform for rapid, open access scientific communication. The articles are of high quality and broad scope."

Peter Chiba
(University of Vienna, Austria)

"Open access journals are probably one of the most important contributions to promote and diffuse science worldwide."

Jaime Sampaio
(University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal)

"Open access journals make up a new and rather revolutionary way to scientific publication. This option opens several quite interesting possibilities to disseminate openly and freely new knowledge and even to facilitate interpersonal communication among scientists."

Eduardo A. Castro
(INIFTA, Argentina)

"Open access journals are freely available online throughout the world, for you to read, download, copy, distribute, and use. The articles published in the open access journals are high quality and cover a wide range of fields."

Kenji Hashimoto
(Chiba University, Japan)

"Open Access journals offer an innovative and efficient way of publication for academics and professionals in a wide range of disciplines. The papers published are of high quality after rigorous peer review and they are Indexed in: major international databases. I read Open Access journals to keep abreast of the recent development in my field of study."

Daniel Shek
(Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)

"It is a modern trend for publishers to establish open access journals. Researchers, faculty members, and students will be greatly benefited by the new journals of Bentham Science Publishers Ltd. in this category."

Jih Ru Hwu
(National Central University, Taiwan)

Browse Contents

Webmaster Contact:
Copyright © 2020 Bentham Open