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Center for Taiji Studies

Center for Taiji Studies Research
Human Dynamics and Controls Lab Research
KinesiologyHuman DynamicsTaiji ReferencesMeditation References

Yang Yang has provided consulting services, and the Center for Taiji Studies has provided experienced test subjects, for Taiji research at the Human Dynamics and Controls Lab (HDCL) in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The HDCL is directed by Prof. Elizabeth Hsiao-Wecksler. The HDCL is interested in applying dynamic systems modeling, control theory, and movement analysis to explore issues related to musculoskeletal biomechanics and rehabilitation engineering. The main focus of the laboratory is to understand how we can prevent falls in older adults by studying changes in balance and response to unexpected perturbations due to increasing age. We are interested in exploring how Taiji (or Tai Chi) practice might influence balance and movement strategies, since Taiji has been found to reduce the likelihood of repeat falls in older adults.

Current projects involving Taiji are exploring (1) how do stance width and foot placement affect balance, and (2) does Taiji experience affect how people walk normally and when presented with obstacles in the walking path. These projects are being conducted on young and older adults with and without Taiji experience. An abstract of the current research findings, entitled Tai Chi Affects Gait and Obstacle Crossing Behaviors, has been accepted for a podium presentation at the 51st Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine on June 3, 2004 in Indianapolis.

For more information:
Contact the HDCL directly (hdcl@uiuc.edu, or phone: 217-333-1730) or Professor Hsiao-Wecksler (ethw@uiuc.edu or phone: 217-333-3415). You can also visit their website at www.staff.uiuc.edu/~ethw/hdcl/hdcl.htm.

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