Thursday, January 6th, 2011
The Greater Southern Area Health Service (GSHAS) would be recognised with the Innovative Excellence and Community Partnership award for its work bringing tai chi to the broader community.

GSHAS has train and provide ongoing support to implement Tai Chi for Health program on a not for profit basis for eight years. The results of the recent evaluation by Australian National University exceeded all expectations. It is a low cost health promotion activity that reaches a significant percentage of the target population, and is well liked, well sustained over a number of years.

Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese martial art consisting of a series of slow but continuous movements of many parts of the body. There is substantial and growing evidence to support the use of Tai Chi to prevent falls, and additional diverse health and lifestyle benefits. GSHAS has partnered with Tai Chi for Health Institute and local communities to co-ordinate and maintain this activity network thorough its area covering approximately one third of NSW, with a total population of 452,643 distributed over an area of 166,000 square kilometres.

This recent study done by ANU including the recent three years, Feb 2007 to June 2010, Tai Chi for Health program was taken up by 1.7% of the target population. There were 119 classes in 49 locations. The cost is estimated to be $76 per person per year!

The outcome shows significant improvement fall rate, general well being. People keep coming to Tai Chi because they experience a range of physical, social and cognitive benefits which they find overwhelmingly positive. Falls and fear of falling are a relatively minor factor in participants’ motivation to join Tai Chi classes.

Participants derive multiple benefits from tai chi participation, which are not restricted to or
necessarily focused on falls prevention. These benefits include improvements in physical function, psychological health and well-being, and social vigour, and are all relatively evenly distributed among the participant body. These benefits address a range of issues which pose challenges for the elderly and ageing population in rural communities.

Tai Chi for Health Institute is founded by Dr Paul Lam with the purpose to empower people to improve health and wellness. Over last twelve years, Dr Paul Lam has been working with his medical and tai chi colleagues to create Tai Chi for Health programs and train instructors to teach the program. The institute has partnered with many health service, departments of health in Australia, and other community and government bodies overseas to bring tai chi to the wider community including those older and less agile people who would not have considered taking up tai chi for health improvement.

The institute recognizes GSAHS for its commitment to promote health in an innovative, yet practical and sustainable way, and would be giving the Innovative Excellence in Community Partnership Award for GSAHS on Thursday 13th January 2010 at the St Vincent College, Potts Point Sydney.

Contact Profile

Tai Chi for Health Institute

Tai Chi for Health Institute has the purpose to empower people to improve their health and wellness, with a vision to make Tai Chi for Health accessible to everyone for health and wellness.
Dr Paul Lam
P: 02 9533 6511
M: 0403 201 844


tai chi for health, NSW health service, tai chi, community, health, falls prevention


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