Experimental Observation of Effects on the Attention Attributes of Old & Middle-Aged People
Attention is a cognitive function indicator of mental health. With the advancing age, the declining functions of all systems, and especially the declining functions of the nervous system, old and middle-aged people are easily to develop distractibility.
In order to verify the extent to which Health Qigong•Wu Qin Xi improves the ability of old and middle-aged people to focus their attention, we used an attention-focusing ability tester to test the Health Qigong•Wu Qin Xi experimental group and blank control group before and after the experiment in this study.
1. Objects and methodology
1.1 Research objects
Old and middle-aged people which were 50~70 years of age and seldom had any fitness exercise were chosen from Yinxing Street of Yangpu District and Wujiaochang Town of Shanghai and divided into a Health Qigong•Wu Qin Xi experimental group and a blank control group that did not participate in any physical exercise. The experimental group had 98 persons, of which 32 were males (aged 62.62±4.91) and 66 were females (aged 56.95±5.54). The control group had 100 persons, of which 33 were males (aged 62.94±6.02) and 67 were females (aged 57.72±5.29).
The experimental groups took Health Qigong•Wu Qin Xi exercise at least 4 times per week and 3~4 repetitions per time lasting at least 45min for 6 consecutive months. The control group basically participated in no physical exercise of any form.
1.2 Test method
BD-II-310 attention-focusing ability tester is composed of a turntable with replaceable test boards and it control, timing, and counting systems.
During the test, the test object holds a testing rod with the right hand and stands beside the instrument, keeping the testing rod perpendicular to the turntable and tacking a light spot on the turntable. The rotational speed of the testing turntable is 20 rpm and the countdown time is 20s. The moments and number of mistakes are automatically recorded. The test was conducted four times and results of the last three were used as the final test results.
1.3 Data processing
Statistical software SPSS11.0 was used for statistical analysis of all test data. t-test was used to verify data differences between and within groups.
2.1 Comparison of attention-focusing test results of both groups before the experiment
Table 1. Comparison of Overall Attention-Focusing Test Results of Both Groups before Experiment
IndicatorExperimental group n = 98Control group n = 100
Time of mistake (S)2.26±2.182.49±1.87
Number of mistakes (times)11.23±7.7712.70±8.79
Test results of both groups of test objects were put to two independent-sample t-tests. Results of Table 1 showed no significant difference between both groups in terms of Time of mistake and Number of mistakes, indicating that experimental objects of both groups came from the same distribution entity and the group of the experiment was reasonable and valid.
2.2 Attention-focusing test of experimental group after 3 months
From Table 2 we can see that by comparison between the results of attention tests conducted after 3 months of exercise and before the experiment, both the Time of mistake and Number of mistakes were significantly decreased (P<0.01).
Table 2. Comparison of Results of Attention-Focusing Tests Respectively Conducted after 3-Month Exercise and before Experiment on the Experimental Group
IndicatorBefore experiment (n=98)After 3 months (n=98)
Time of mistake (S)2.26±2.181.39±1.50**
Number of mistakes (times)11.23±7.777.30±6.30*
Notes: Notes: *means P<0.05; ** means P＜0.01; same as below.
2.3 Attention-focusing test of control group after 6 months
Results of Table 3 showed that after the 6-month experiment, both the Time of mistake and Number of mistakes of the control group were significantly increased. This indicates that with the advancing age, the attention-focusing ability of old and middle-aged people were gradually declining. This coincides with the rules of individual psychological development.
Table 3. Overall Comparison of Results of Attention-Focusing Tests Respectively Conducted after 6-Month Exercise and before Experiment on the Control Group
IndicatorBefore experiment (n=100)After 6 months (n=100)
Time of mistake (S)2.49±1.873.28±2.37
Number of mistakes (times)12.70±8.79 14.59±7.49**
2.4 Attention-focusing test of experimental group after 6 months
From Table 4 we can see that by comparison between the results of attention tests conducted after 6 months of exercise and before the experiment, both the Time of mistake and Number of mistakes were significantly decreased.
Table 4. Overall Comparison of Results of Attention-Focusing Tests Respectively Conducted after 6-Month Exercise and before Experiment on the Experimental Group
IndicatorBefore experiment (n=98)After 6 months (n=98)
Time of mistake (S)2.26±2.181.97±1.88**
Number of mistakes (times)11.23±7.778.85±5.82*
2.5 Comparison of attention-focusing test results between experimental group and control group after 6 months
Table 5 shows that after the 6-month experiment, the attention-focusing test results of the experimental group was significantly lower than those of the control group. This indicates that: Long-term exercise of Health Qigong•Wu Qin Xi plays an active role in improving the ability of old and middle-aged people to focus their attention.
Table 5. Overall Comparison of Attention-Focusing Test Results Between Experimental Group and Control Group after 6 Months
IndicatorExperimental group n = 90Control group n = 100
Time of mistake (S)1.97±0.193.28±0.24**
Number of mistakes (times)8.85±0.59 14.59±0.75**
Health Qigong•Wu Qin Xi requires the exerciser to regulate the regulate the mind, i.e. concentrate thought on Dantian, before the practice and before each individual exercise. The exerciser needs eliminate distracting thoughts, focus the mind, and achieve serenity and peace of the mind. And during each individual exercise, the exerciser needs to fully enter the imaginary state of this character and focus the attention on the movements. The above-mentioned mental adjustments can help the exerciser regulate the mind and spirit, ease the mental stress, alleviate the mental pressure, and maintain a healthy mental state. In particular, the Ape Exercise (which mainly acts on the heart) of Health Qigong•Wu Qin Xi mainly involves the movements of the finger tips and eyes. The quick changes of “Ape Hook” aim to enhance the sensitivity of nervous-muscular responses and exercise the nervous system to a certain extent. The “Ape Picking” movement involves diverse changes in the hand shape which reflect the coordination between the nervous system and limb motion. Therefore such movements can promote the response of the nervous system, alleviate the nervous degree of the cerebral nervous system, recover the young state of the nervous system, and strengthen the coordinating functions between the nervous system and the muscle system. Improved functions of the nervous system and the enhanced coordinating functions of the muscle system will greatly promote the ability of old and middle-aged people to focus their attention.
Breath regulation means to exercise respiration during the practice. One exhalation and one inhalation compose a breath. Exhalation is Yin-natured and asthenic. Inhalation is Yang-natured and sthenic. The regulation of breath is the regulation of pulmonary functions. Sound pulmonary functions and thoracic Qi will have positive effects on functions of other viscera. The unique breathing method-breath regulation of Health Qigong•Wu Qin xi can greatly improve the ability of old and middle-aged people to focus their attention, indicating that Health Qigong•Wu Qin xi exercise can enhance the coordinating functions of the nervous system and the muscle system. This coincides with results of related research.
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