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Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance

Research has shown that practicing Tai Chi, an evidence-based falls prevention program, is an effective way for older adults to reduce their risk of falling and to maintain their independence.

The Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance program consists of eight Tai Chi forms practiced over at least 12 weeks. The forms derive from the 24-form Yang style and have been modified for community adults who wish to reduce their fall risk by improving their balance, strength, mobility, and confidence in performing everyday activities.

Each of these forms can be performed and practiced separately or in combination with other forms as part of a routine. The eight-form routine adheres to the fundamental principles of traditional Tai Chi, which involves weight-shifting, body alignment, and coordinated movements performed in a slow, continuous, circular, and flowing manner.

Research to better understand the effectiveness of Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance has been underway since 2004. Increasing evidence supports the health benefits of the program for older adults, including reducing blood pressure, improving muscular strength, balance and postural control, improving sleep quality, reducing depression, reducing fall risk (by as much as 55 percent), enhancing mental well-being, and improving overall quality of life.

This program is designed primarily for community-dwelling older adults. It is particularly well suited for people who are 60 years of age or older, at risk of falling (e.g., have walking or balance problems), are mobile (e.g., able to walk one or more blocks), and do not have significant mental impairment.

Tai Chi: FAQ

Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance is a program that helps older adults improve their balance and reduce the likelihood of falling. Research has shown that people who complete the program are half as likely to fall and are less fearful about falling.

Participants will learn balance skills, good body alignment, and coordinated Tai Chi movements.

The program is intended for community-dwelling older adults aged 60 and older, who can walk easily with or without assistive devices.

Participants should practice Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance for approximately three hours each week.

  • Improved physical health and better functioning in daily activities
  • Improved balance, muscle strength, flexibility, and mobility
  • Better mental health, such as increased self-esteem and less social isolation

Contact Information

Mailing Address:
Oklahoma State Department of Health
Injury Prevention Service
123 Robert S. Kerr Ave., Suite 1702
Oklahoma City, OK 73102-6406

Physical Address:
Oklahoma State Department of Health
Injury Prevention Service
123 Robert S. Kerr Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK

Telephone: (405) 426-8440
Fax: (405) 900-7588

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