The immediate effects of Tai Chi on the postural stability, muscle activity and measures of inferred ankle proprioception of healthy young adults
MetadataShow full item record
Tai Chi has often been applied in research among older adults to affect postural stability and proprioception in the lower limbs; however, little is known about the effects Tai Chi may have in these domains among healthy young adults. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to investigate these potential effects. A total of 30 (17 females and 13 males) healthy young adults were randomized to either an experimental group or control group. To assess postural stability, both groups performed a pre-intervention postural stability task under eyes open/closed and firm/foam surface conditions, while center of pressure-based measures of mean sway velocity (MSV) and 95% elliptical area (EA) were collected. Ankle proprioception was inferred using electromyography data from the tibialis anterior and gastrocnemius medialis bilaterally, in addition to, the spectral power within the 0.4 – 0.7 Hz band derived from all data points of COP sway in the anteroposterior direction, which is believed to be sensitive to change in ankle proprioception. For the intervention, the experimental group was engaged in a 15-minute Tai Chi task, while the control group sat comfortably in a chair. Post-intervention measures were then collected using the same protocol as the pre-intervention measures. Four-way ANOVAs were used to determine if the Tai Chi intervention had a significant effect on postural stability, muscle activity, or measures of inferred ankle proprioception. No significant differences were observed between the experimental or control group across pre-/post test measures. These findings suggest that a single 15-minute Tai Chi intervention is not sufficient to produce effects on the postural stability, muscle activity, or ankle proprioception of healthy young adults.