gms | German Medical Science

G-I-N Conference 2012

Guidelines International Network

22.08 - 25.08.2012, Berlin

Effect of Tai Chi Exercise on Balance in Older Adults: Meta Analysis

Meeting Abstract

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  • S. Ahn - College of Nursing, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, South Korea
  • R. Song - College of Nursing, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, South Korea
  • M. Park - College of Nursing, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, South Korea

Guidelines International Network. G-I-N Conference 2012. Berlin, 22.-25.08.2012. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2012. DocP022

doi: 10.3205/12gin134, urn:nbn:de:0183-12gin1344

Published: July 10, 2012

© 2012 Ahn et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Aims: Recent studies provided scientific evidence on health benefits of Tai Chi on balance especially among older adults. This study was to systematically review and quantitatively synthesize the effect of Tai Chi on balance in older adults.

Methods: Relevant articles of Tai Chi exercise with randomized clinical trials published between 2000 and Jan 2011 were searched for English and Korean language. The participants were selected based on age 60 and older. Outcomes for dynamic and static balance were selected by either direct or indirect measures. Two independent reviewers rated the methodological quality of these studies. Date were pooled using a fixed-effects model was performed and the Q-value was used to assess heterogeneity. Effect sizes of balance were calculated, using a standardized mean difference (d), and a 95% confidence interval(CI) to represent the results.

Results: Twenty-three studies reporting quantitative data were included. In the pooled analysis, overall effect size of Tai Chi exercise on balance yielded a d=0.287 for 3 months, 0.389 for 6 months, and 0.360 for 12 months compared to the control group. By subgroup analysis with types of measurement, overall effect sizes for direct measures were 0.407 whereas overall effect size was reduced to 0.362 and 0.280 with indirect measures for balance.

Conclusion: The 23 studies reviewed were of moderate methodological quality. Tai Chi exercise seems to have beneficial effects on direct and indirect measures for balance in older adults. Direct measures show stronger effect than the indirect measures, and longer duration of exercise brings greater effects on balance.