Effects on Life Quality

Effects of Health Qigong • Ba Duan Jin on Life Quality of the Old and Middle-aged People

Modern medicine has switched from a pure biological pattern to a biological-psychological-social pattern. The health of a person is based on not only a healthy body, but also a health metal state and good social contact. Therefore the purpose of medicine is not only to extend life but also to improve the quality of life. Given this trend, life quality is attracting more and move attention as an index for evaluating the results of therapeutic regimens (or intervention measures). At present, typical life quality measuring scales mainly include[1][2]: Nottingham health profile (NHP), quality of wellbeing index (QWB), SF-36, EORTC QLQ-C30, and WHO QOL-100 and QOL-BREF.

  SF-36 is also known as MOS 36 item short form health survey (See Appendix 9) was developed by US Boston Health Research Center on the basis of medical outcomes study-short form (MOS-SF) developed by Stewartse. SF-36 is currently recognized as a life quality measuring tool[3-6] having a wide prospect of application. Some developed EU and American countries have already widely applied SF-36 in clinical trials, preparation of health policies, and evaluation of the benefits of health resources. It mainly involves the life quality assessment of diseases, health status evaluation of populations. Evaluation and selection of clinical therapeutic regimens, and evaluation of the results of preventive intervention measures and has lead to some achievements [7].

  SF-36 was used as the evaluation tool in this study. The health-preserving results of Health Qigong•Ba Duan Jin were evaluated from the perspective of life quality in order to lay a foundation of its popularization and promotion among the people.

  1. Objects and methodology

  1.1 Research objects

  Research objects were chosen with the layer-by-layer random cluster sampling method and health examination screening from Fengtai District and Shijingshan District of Beijing and Miyun County. a. Normal cardiorespiratory functions; b. Normal BSL; c. Normal blood pressure or slightly high blood pressure (BP≤160/95mmHg); d. No extremity disability; e. No habit of health-preserving exercise. The test objects were randomly divided into a Health Qigong•Ba Duan Jin group (experimental group for short) and a control group. See Table 1 for the basic information of the research objects.

  Table 1. Basic information about research objects

  Group (n)Age (years)Body Height (cm)Body weight (kg)

  MaleControl group 3262.4±1.8169.8±4.276.3±10.8

  Experimental group 5063.0±2.0168.1±4.675.2±7.7

  FemaleControl group 6056.9±1.5156.6±5.866.8±7.6

  Experimental group 16957.8±1.6155.5±4.365.6±8.0

  By statistical analysis, there were no significant differences between the experimental group and the control group in terms of initial values of age, body height, and body weight.

  1.2 Research methods

  (1) Measuring scale: SF-36 is composed of 36 entries and can measure 8 health dimensions and 1 health change self-evaluation. See Table 2 for details.

  Table 2. Structure of SF-36 Measuring Scale

  DimensionNumber of entriesDefinition

  ① Physical functioning (PF)10Measures whether the health status hinders the normal physiological activities

  ② Role limitations due to physical health (RP)

  4Measures the role function limitations due to physical health problems

  ③ Bodily pain (BP)2Measures the degree of pains and the effects of pains on daily life

  ④ General health perceptions (GH)5Measures the evaluation of the individual on his or her own health and development trend

  ⑤ Vitality (VT)4Measures the subjective feeling of the individual on his or her own energy and fatigue

  ⑥ Social functioning (SF)2Measures the effects of physical and mental problems on the quantity and quality of social activities

  ⑦ Role limitations due to emotional problems (RE)

  3Measures the role function limitations due to emotional problems

  ⑧ Mental health (MH)5Measures the excitation, suppression, behavioral or mental loss of control, and subjective mental feeling

  ⑨ Health transitions (HT)1Evaluates the subjective feeling of the overall health transitions

  Physical component summary (PCS)21Including PF, RP, BP, and GH

  Mental component summary (MCS)15Including VT, SF, RE, and MH

  (2) Grading policy: The grading policy of Sf-36 is to add up the scores of all entries in each dimension according to the various weights of the entries and derive the rough integral of the 8 dimension, and then convert the rough integral into a final score on a 0~100 scale. The higher the final scores of all dimensions and the overall score, the better life quality. HT is not graded but analyzed independently as a categorical variable[8].

  (3) Course of experiment

  The experimental group first learned Health Qigong • Ba Duan Jin under the guidance of training teachers. After fully mastering the technical points of all movements, they practiced Health Qigong • Ba Duan Jin for 6 months under the guidance of coaches. They practiced 1 hour in the morning for 5~7 days every week. Members of the experimental group kept training diaries everyday and the director of the station recorded the attendance everyday. The research team paid periodic supervisory follow-up visits to the exercisers for twice every week, and collected and checked the attendance records and training diaries once every month. The control group was made up of old and middle-aged objects that were not in the habit of health-preserving exercise. They maintained their existing life styles thought the experiment. The research team did not intervene with their daily activities and paid them one follow-up visit every week in order to learn their basic health status and life habits. Research objects that had major changes in life habits during the experiment were excluded from the study.

  All research objects were made to fill out SF-36 respectively before the experiment, 3 months after the experiment, and 6 months after the experiment. All 3 tests were completed between 8:00 and 8:30 AM. Research objects in poor mental and health states were excluded on the day of the test.

  1.3 Statistical analysis

  Spss10.0 software is sued for statistical analysis of data.Multi-factor variance analysis method is used to determine the significance of differences.

  2. Results

  Results in Table 3 show that after 3 months of exercise, the scores of MCS, PF, SF, VT, and MH of the male group were significantly increased (P

  Table 3. A Comparison of Scores of All SF-36 Dimensions of the Male Group before and after Exercise


  Control groupStart (32)66.6±1164.8±1163.0±1473.0±1450.0±4745.4±4177.5±1982.0±866.0±1360.0±1451.0±13

  3 months (25)65.3±660.3±961.9±577.1±2742.9±3749.0±2671.8±984.3±853.3±750.0±1356.1±8

  6 months (24)67.7±1062.3±1667.0±981.3±947.5±2560.0±3384.4±1280.0±1466.3±1571.0±2158.4±24

  Experimental groupStart (50)65.7±1365.7±1557.0±1279.2±2147.5±3356.7±3666.3±1780.7±1751.2±1354.9±1357.9±15

  3 months (43)70.1±1767.2±1769.8±16▲83.9±17▲62.5±3560.3±4279.8±16▲69.7±2264.4±16▲72.0±19▲60.0±21

  6 months (40)78.4±14◆77.5±13◆-75.0±17◆90.0±12◆76.3±33◆68.4±4186.2±13◆75.3±1370.9±14◆75.2±10◆64.4±23

  Notes: * P

  Table 4 shows that after 3 months of exercise, the scores of PF, RP, RE, SF, and VT of the female were group were significantly increased (P

  Table 4. A Comparison of Scores of All SF-36 Dimensions of the Female Group before and after Exercise


  Control groupStart (60)68.9±14 64.3±19 69.2±13 75.6±32 58.8±43 60.8±41 80.9±19 68.2±22 65.0±15 69.9±17 62.1±22

  3 months (44)64.9±17 75.8±18 65.2±16 87.6±33 62.8±38 58.6±34 77.9±19 58.8±7 57.9±15 62.3±17 60.9±15

  6 months (36)76.1±12 74.7±14 72.9±14 90.6±886.0±18 68.4±33 85.8±20 71.8±20 68.0±17 77.3±19 64.4±23

  Experimental groupStart (169)69.6±11 61.5±14 70.0±10 67.2±2664.0±36 66.7±29 70.0±13 74.6±21 58.9±9 73.8±13 60.7±11

  3 months (120)74.9±1574.6±15 71.1±16 85.2±21▲ 82.3±25▲ 79.6±34▲ 84.9±18▲ 69.2±17 68.2±15▲68.7±19 65.3±19

  6 months (114)81.9±13◆ 79.2±13◆ 83.5±14◆ 86.7±15◆ 71.7±33◆ 69.1±43 81.5±20◆ 82.2±13- 76.0±17◆ 71.2±1966.7±19

  3. Discussion

  In this study, SF-36 measuring scale was used to evaluate the effects of long-term Health Qigong • Ba Duan Jin on the life quality of health old and middle-aged people. The study has revealed that: After a period of Health Qigong•Ba Duan Jin exercise, scores of many SF-36 indexes of the experimental group were significantly increased. PF, RP, VT, SF, PCS, and MCS gradually increased with the time of exercise in both the male and female research objects.

  The aforementioned improvement in health was closely related to Health Qigong•Ba Duan Jin exercise. Movements of Health Qigong•Ba Duan Jin are gentle, slow, smooth, continuous, moderate in tension, well-balanced between stillness and motion, well-coordinated between spirit and form, and well-combined with Qi. Long-term exercise will help balance Yin and Yang, dredge channels, dissipate viscosity, lubricate joints, promote blood circulation, remove stasis, strength muscles and bones, and improve the body constitution. These effects can be explained by modern life sciences. Health Qigong•Ba Duan Jin has a moderate exercise intensity. It is a typical medium-intensity exercise. The exerciser usually practices 1h everyday. Although the intensity is moderate, long-term exercise can consume the excessive fat in the body and beneath the skin and improve the body composition. At the same time Health Qigong•Ba Duan Jin can increase the strength of muscles. With regard to the structures of movements in Health Qigong•Ba Duan Jin, Routine 2 “Posing as an Archer Shooting Both Left- and Right-Handed”, Routine 6 “Swinging the Head and Lowering the Body to Relieve Stress”, and Routine 7 “Thrusting the Fists and Making the Eyes Glare to Enhance Strength” all require horse stance which is very good for the development of the strength of muscles in lower limbs.In addition, Health Qigong•Ba Duan Jin requires “well-coordinated spirit and form and well-combined Qi”. In other words all movements should be based on well-coordinated mind and motion and both the spirit and form should be integrated. This will significantly improve the high attention of the exerciser and effectively establish harmony and unity between the nervous system and the movements. As a result the exerciser will develop the reaction capability to signals and the hand operating capability in a highly coordinated way, which will finally lead to a good mental state and temperament in the old and middle-aged population. Therefore long-term regular Health Qigong•Ba Duan Jin exercise will result in reduced body fat percentage, increased muscle strength, and improved mental state, which are represented by the significantly increased scores of PF, RP, and VT in SF-36. This is because PF mainly reflects the labor capability and physical fitness, VT mainly reflects the energy and fatigue resistance, and RP mainly reflects the extent to which the physical health problems affect daily life and work. The increase in the score of SF in SF-36 is related to the fact that Health Qigong•Ba Duan Jin was exercised among groups of people in which there were more interpersonal interactions.

  On the other hand, Health Qigong•Ba Duan Jin exercise requires the exerciser to be even-minded, open, optimistic, free of distracting thoughts, big-hearted, and calm. The exerciser will finally achieve self-regulation and improve the mental health. However, significant improvement was detected only in MCS in this study, while no significant change was detected in RE and MH which reflected the mental problems of mental health. Or their changed with inconsistent trends during the experiment. This was probably because some emotional characteristics were stable personality factors which were difficult to change or the standard deviations of these two indexes were too huge. This was an lateral indication that SF-36 still has some defects in the evaluation of mental health, which coincides with the results of researches done by other researchers [10].


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