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Traditional physical exercise and tai chi comparative study among older people in Hungary
  1. M Benyi*,
  2. M Vamos,
  3. L Meszaros,
  4. P Czudar,
  5. P Rakos-Zichy
  1. Correspondence National Center for Healthcare Audit and Inspection, Gyali ut 2-6 Budapest 1097, Hungary

Abstract

Introduction Making physical exercise among elderly is not really popular in Hungary. Traditional physiotherapy is preferred mostly among people with disability. As far tai chi is the evidence based good practice in fall prevention, but it was never tested in Hungary, two parallel studies were completed for comparison. Data and methods in year 2009 two exercise programs were offered for elderly groups: tai chi and traditional physical exercise. In tai chi groups there were 104 persons (35 persons younger than 65 years, 69 persons 65 years or older). To traditional physiotherapy groups 98 persons attended (among them 45 were younger than 65.) Both types of exercise took 1 h per week and lasted 10 weeks. The results were tested with SF36 test. Differences were measured between given answers before and after courses. Statistical program SPPS 11.0 was used.

Results In tai chi group among people younger than 65 years, we could find nine answers where people mentioned development in their health status. In group of elderly above 65 years four answers were significantly positive. In traditional physical exercise groups among elderly less than 65 years old nine answers were significantly better after than before; in group 65 years and elder six answers. In both groups two answers show significantly better results after training than before.

Conclusion Both types of exercise are almost equally efficient for elderly. Results can help the acceptance of tai chi, as a method among specialists, who deal with injury prevention among elderly.

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