2003 Volume 52 Issue 4 Pages 369-379
A balance test was given to middle-aged and elderly persons who are practicing Tai Chi Chuan for evaluating its effect on postural stability. The subjects were 34 (female : 34) healthy persons aged from 50 to 70 (mean : 63.2 ± 7.8years) .
The Equitest System (Neuro Com Co. Ltd.) was used for the balance test. The Equitest System has several devices for evaluating postural balance both in a static and dynamic condition. The two tests used in this study-the Sensory Organization Test (SOT) and the Movement Coordination Test (MCT) -were performed to evaluate postural stability. The SOT consists of 3 static and 3 dynamic testing conditions, while the MCT evaluates postural response time against a shift board.
The subjects were separated into 2 groups-beginner and skilled-for comparison between the two. The results of SOT showed that there were statistically significant differences of postural control in the dynamic condition between the two groups. But, there was no such difference seen in the static condition. For MCT, statistically significant differences were also observed between the two groups in the dynamic postural condition. The results of SOT and MCT suggest that skilled persons in Tai Chi Chuan acquire both highly developed dynamic balance and quick response in the disturbed condition.
The results of the Cybex muscle strength test also suggests that the leg extensor develops muscle strength through long-term Tai Chi Chuan training.