Saturday, November 9, 2013

Tai Chi Keeps You Young

Did you know that tai chi can keep you young? I don't mean that it is a Fountain of Youth. However, tai chi can improve functional fitness as we age. This is important because I don't know anyone that is not aging.

Doctors know that our coordination and reaction time decline with age. Researchers decided to study the effect of tai chi on these aspects of aging. They set up three groups. One group was young college students. One group was aged tai chi practitioners. The final group was an aged control group with no tai chi experience.

The researchers set up a system where a colored dot appeared on a screen and they had the study subjects move their hand from a desk top toward the screen and touch the dot. They measured the reaction time, hand speed, and touch accuracy.

It wasn't too surprising that the young college students were faster and more accurate than the control group. However, the aged tai chi practitioners were equivalent to the younger group in touch accuracy.

Surprise, surprise. Tai chi is good for you.
The abstract is at
"Effects of Aging and Tai Chi on Finger-Pointing Toward Stationary and Moving Visual Targets"
Volume 91, Issue 1, Pages 149-155, January 2010
© 2013 Eric Borreson

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