This study was designed to determine whether a 6-mo Tai Chi exercise program can improve self-reported physical functioning limitations among healthy, physically inactive older individuals. 94 community residents (aged 65-96 yrs) volunteered to participate in the study Participants were randomly assigned to either a 6-mo experimental (Tai Chi) group, which exercised twice per weekf or 60 min, or a wait-list control group. A 6-item self-report physical functioning scale, assessing the extent of behavioral dysfunction caused by health problems, was used to evaluate change in physical functioning limitations as a result of Tai Chi intervention. Results indicated that compared to the control group, participants in the Tai Chi group experienced significant improvements in all aspects of physical functioning over the course of the 6-mo intervention. Overall, the experimental group had 65% improvement across all 6 functional status measures ranging from daily activities such as walking and lifting to moderate-vigorous activities such as running. It was concluded that the 6-mo Tai Chi exercise program was effective for improving functional status in healthy, physically inactive older adults. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).
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