The Effects of Tai chi on Simple and Choice Reaction Time in Older Adults




Frankenberg, Angelyn J.

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Regular exercise can reduce the impact of aging on physical health and may also have cognitive benefits. This study investigated the effects of 8 weeks of Tai Chi on static balance, simple reaction time (SRT), and choice reaction time (CRT). The experimental group consisted of 1 male and 5 female residents of a retirement community (age = 83.3 + 5.2 years, range = 74-88). The TC class met 3 times per week for 8 weeks (23 classes, mean number of classes attended = 19). The control group consisted of 2 male and 5 female residents of the same community (age = 83.3 + 3.7 years, range = 78-88), who did not take part in the Tai Chi class. Pretests and post-tests were conducted for static balance, SRT, and CRT. No significant changes in balance time or SRT were noted for either group, however, the TC group’s CRT was 15% faster on the post-test than on the pretest (pretest CRT = 718.8 + 133.3 ms; post-test CRT = 610.0 + 124 1 ms) These results indicate that Tai Chi practice may contribute to improved processing speed in older adults.



tai chi, physical fitness, older people


Frankenberg, A. J. (2003). The effects of Tai chi on simple and choice reaction time in older adults (Unpublished thesis). Southwest Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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