During the past decade, considerable effort has been directed toward evaluating kinetic responses among older individuals particularly with the intent of better understanding events predictive of or leading to falling behavior. Within this context, neither provision of visual feedback of kinetic responses to angular perturbations to shape postural responses nor the assessment of postural responses to anticipated or unexpected movements following unique exercise interventions, including Tai Chi, has been explored. Generally, the magnitude of vertical loading responses does not appear amenable to conditioning, but an analysis of kinetic changes observed during movements holds more potential as a correlate to the delayed onset of falls among older Tai Chi practitioners.
S.L. Wolf is with the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine and the Department of Cell Biology at the Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30322. R.J. Gregor is with the Center for Human Movement Studies at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332.