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Tai Chi, Physiological Complexity, and Healthy Aging - Gait

Tai Chi, Physiological Complexity, and Healthy Aging - Gait



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PhysioNet, the moniker of the Research Resource for Complex Physiologic Signals, was established in 1999 under the auspices of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), as described further below.

Data Preview ? 503.3M

    Data Structure ?


    The "Tai Chi, Physiological Complexity, and Healthy Aging—Gait" database contains two-channel gait recordings of 87 older adults from the Greater Boston area.

    Data Collection

    We employed a hybrid study design that included a two-arm randomized clinical trial (RCT) along with an additional observational comparison group. The Tai Chi naïve group included sixty healthy older participants, aged 50–79 years, living within the Greater Boston area, and reporting no regular Tai Chi practice within the past 5 years. Subjects were either randomized to 6 months of Tai Chi or usual care. Subjects came in for a baseline visit along with 3 month and 6 month follow-ups. The Tai Chi expert group consisted of twenty-seven healthy, older, aged 50-79 years, adults currently engaged in an active Tai Chi training regimen, each with at least 5 years of Tai Chi experience. The expert group was tested only at their baseline visit.

    Steady-state gait dynamics were assessed during over ground walking at preferred speed. Subjects walked along a long corridor (48m or 23m) that was wide enough (5m) to enable smooth turning. To record consecutive stride-to-stride durations, subjects had foot-switches (Mega Elektronika, Inc) inserted into their shoes, and the ME6000 data acquisition monitor attached to their waist. To collect the sufficient number of steps required for complexity measures, approximately 10 minutes of continuous walking was completed. Some instances had to be recorded in two parts, with file names ending with P1 and P2.

    Data Files

    The data files are provided in standard WFDB format, named:

    • SXXX_VY(_PZ) - for non-masters
    • SXXX_master(_PZ) - for masters

    where XXX is the subject number, Y is the visit number, and Z is the recording part for instances that had to be recorded in two segments. Group allocation by Subject ID with age, gender, BMI, visit, trail making time, category fluency, hallway length, number of laps, and distance walked, can be found in the accompanying file: TCPCHA_Subjects.csv.


    This database was contributed by Peter Wayne (pwayne[at] and Brian J Gow (bgow[at]

    When using this resource, please cite the original publication:

    Wayne PM, Manor B, Novak V, et al. A Systems Biology Approach to Studying Tai Chi, Physiological Complexity and Healthy Aging: Design and Rationale of a Pragmatic Randomized Controlled Trial. Contemporary clinical trials. 2013;34(1):21-34. doi:10.1016/j.cct.2012.09.006.

    Please include the standard citation for PhysioNet: (show more options)
    Goldberger, A., Amaral, L., Glass, L., Hausdorff, J., Ivanov, P. C., Mark, R., ... & Stanley, H. E. (2000). PhysioBank, PhysioToolkit, and PhysioNet: Components of a new research resource for complex physiologic signals. Circulation [Online]. 101 (23), pp. e215–e220.