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Research reinforces findings that Chinese exercises benefit older adults

t is to their daily life putting on jeans, taking groceries out, even the posture you have when you hold your grandchildren the results are significant."

Also telling, he said, is the strong desire among study participants to continue practicing Tai Chi and Qigong beyond the bounds of the research.

"The program has demonstrated its sustainability at one of the senior-living facility instruction sites, where an enthusiastic activities director has continued classes and actually expanded participation since the completion of the study, he said."

Rosengren said the U. of I. research team plans to continue studying the links between Tai Chi and Qigong and the benefits of their practice for older adults.

"We plan to focus on trying to understand the mechanisms more," he said. "We'll also try to investigate more closely the effects of the expertise of the instructor by looking at other research that's been done and trying to get measures of expertise in training.

"One of the things I think gets lost in a lot of the Tai Chi research is that the quality of the instructor matters. We've seen programs where they don't really care about that. They'll have someone who's had six months of Tai Chi experience, and they think they can teach Tai Chi.

"Having watched Yang and having seen videotapes of instructors with minimal experience, there's a huge difference," Rosengren said. "It's the wealth of knowledge he brings and the combination of the science from the West and the traditions from the East that actually bring together things in a very positive way."


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Contact: Melissa Mitchell, News Editor
melissa@uiuc.edu
217-333-5491
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
28-Jun-2006


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