Tai Chi as an Alternative Mode of Exercise Activity for Older Adults

Fuzhong Li

in The Oxford Handbook of Exercise Psychology

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780195394313
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Tai Chi as an Alternative Mode of Exercise Activity for Older Adults

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  • Health Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology



There is strong research evidence that regular participation in physical activity is associated with a variety of health benefits in older adults. While there are many mainstream exercise modalities (e.g., resistance, endurance, stretching, and balance), Tai Chi, an alternative exercise modality, is receiving increasing attention. The volume of empirical research on Tai Chi has steadily increased over the past two decades, with findings showing its positive impact in preventing and treating chronic illnesses and functional loss and enhancing overall functioning and quality of life. These results have implications for public health promotion to ameliorate illness and disability in the aging population. This chapter is intended to summarize the current research on Tai Chi (with a focus on a small group of rigorous studies), discuss findings with respect to their practical implications, and highlight future research directions.

Keywords: health; older adults; physical activity; tai chi

Article.  9610 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Health Psychology ; Clinical Psychology

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