About 28 percent of adults age 65 and older fall each year. Falls in older adults can have serious consequences. A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine
(December 2018) examined the effectiveness of the rhythmic movement exercise known as tai chi for fall prevention. For the study, 670 adults ages 70 and older who had fallen in the previous year or had impaired mobility were assigned to one of three groups. One group attended twice-weekly sessions of tai chi. The second group had a multimodal exercise (MME) program of balance, aerobics, strength and flexibility activities. The third group did stretching exercises. During the six months of the study, there were 152 falls in the tai chi group, 218 in the MME group and 363 in the stretching group. Falls were reduced by 31 percent with tai chi compared with a multimodal exercise program.