Evidence-Based Program: Tai Chi for Arthritis and Fall Prevention

Goals of Tai Chi for Arthritis and Fall Prevention (also known as Tai Chi for Arthritis): 1) Improve movement, balance, strength, flexibility, immunity and relaxation; 2) Decrease pain and falls; 3) socialization and sustainability.

Note: Track health promotion program guidance during COVID-19 regularly for updates to program implementation and training options. Programs traditionally implemented in-person may be temporarily allowable by telephone or online.

  • Target audience: Adults with or without arthritis, rheumatic diseases or related musculoskeletal conditions. The program is appropriate for people with mild, moderate and severe joint involvement and back pain. It is especially appropriate for adults who have a higher risk of falling.
  • Health outcomes:
    • Improved balance and mobility
    • Improved strength and flexibility
    • Improved relaxation
    • Decreased pain and falls
  • Delivered by: Tai Chi for Health certified instructors
  • Program type: Group
  • Format: In-person at home, in-person in community, online
  • Length:
    • Attend a minimum of 16 hours of Tai Chi for Arthritis (One hour per week for 16 weeks or 2 hours per week for 8 weeks)
    • Must be led by a certified Tai Chi for Health Institute instructor.
    • Strongly encourage participants to practice the Tai Chi program at home for half an hour daily, at least four days per week. This can be done in one half-hour session or two fifteen-minute sessions
    • Participants must attend at least one in-person or virtual class per week
    • An instructional DVD or online lessons is available to help guide learning and home practice as well as other educational aids such as books, the handbook, and wall charts
    • Developed by Dr. Paul Lam with tai chi and medical colleagues, the program utilizes Sun style Tai Chi for its ability to improve relaxation, balance, and its ease of use for older adults. The movements are taught to both left and right sides and with turns to move forward and backward to improve mobility and offer a variety of combinations
  • Training: Online, in-person, contact a master trainer to schedule an instructor training workshop, recertification training every 2 years (one-day training), CPR certified
  • Professional required: None
  • Accessibility adaptations available: Yes
  • Cultural adaptations available: Yes
  • Available in languages other than English: Chinese (voice and transcription), French (transcription), Dutch (transcription), and Persian (transcription)
  • Topic(s):
    • Physical Activity
    • Chronic Disease
    • Fall Prevention
    • Pain Management

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