Effect of Tai Chi versus Aerobic Training on Improving Hand Grip Strength, Fatigue, and Functional Performance in Older Adults Post-COVID-19: a randomized controlled trial

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Mohammed Y. Elhamrawy
Abd el hamied Ibrahim el sayed Mohammad el sherbini
Maha M. Mokhtar
Ahmed Mashaal
Sabah Mohamed Elkady
Samah M. Elsadany
Mohammed T. Said


Tai Chi, Aerobic, Grip strength, Fatigue, Covid-19


Background: The recent pandemic of COVID-19 has left a wide range of after-effects on the health of older adults. The effects of the pandemic have been particularly felt in the areas of physical strength, fatigue, and functional performance.
Material and methods: Fifty-four participants were allocated into three groups: Tai Chi (TC) attended 4 sessions of 60-min TC training per week for consecutive 12 weeks, Aerobic Training (AT) attended 4 sessions of 60-min aerobic training per week for 12 weeks, and Control (CON) instructed to maintain a daily routine. Hand grip strength (HGS) and Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS) were used to evaluate the participants. Functional performance outcomes were determined The functional performance outcome was determined by The 30-second Chair Stand Test (CST), The 30-second Arm Curl Test (ACT), The 8-feet Up-and-Go test (TUG), and The 2 min steps. Pre-post comparisons of all outcomes in each group and comparisons between groups were analyzed using the ANOVA test with SPSS software.

Results: After the intervention, TC and AT groups both experienced significant improvements in HGS, fatigue levels, CST, ACT, TUG, and 2-minute steps compared to baseline (all P < 0.001). The Tai Chi group also experienced significantly improved hand grip strength (p =0.0435, mean difference of - 2.5), and ACT (p =0.0235, mean difference of 1) compared to the AT group.
Conclusions: Tai Chi is an integrated rehabilitation program that had a positive effect on hand grip strength, fatigue levels, and functional performance compared to aerobic training in the elderly post-COVID-19.

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