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Qigong in daily life: motivation and intention to mindful exercise
Örebro University, School of Health and Medical Sciences. (RISPA)
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In many countries physical inactivity and a sedentary lifestyle are identified as major public health problems. A general health goal is therefore to promote an active lifestyle throughout the entire life span. The reasons given for not adopting a physically active lifestyle and/or taking part in vigorous exercise include old age, negative social and physical environments, physical disability and other health related issues. Qigong exercise, a low-intensity Chinese self-care method, has therefore been suggested as an alternative activity to vigorous exercise. There is, however, little knowledge about leisure-time qigong exercisers and their reasons for adherence. The general aim of this thesis was therefore to explore leisure-time medical qigong and those practicing it, and to examine how individuals’ motivation and intention to exercise are related to their actual exercise in daily life. Behavioural changes towards an active lifestyle will be discussed from both medical qigong and exercise psychology perspectives. Suggestions are then summarized into a qigong-based Wellness Coaching Model. Participants were recruited from a qigong association and introductory qigong courses. Data were collected by questionnaires and were analysed using both descriptive and inferential statistical methods. The reasons given for leisure-time medical qigong exercise were to aid recovery from illness and to preserve health. Participants in the low-intensity qigong exercise group studied were somewhat older, and their main reason for participating was to achieve a general feeling of wellness. As a group they had mainly low-stress levels and were highly energized. Concentration on qi-flow during exercise correlates positively with improved health feelings, and exercise is performed with deep mindful concentration three to six times per week for an average of thirty minutes. Perceived stress correlates negatively with health, energy and exercise behaviour suggesting that stress has to be managed in order for wellness to emerge. Intrinsically motivated exercisers are more concentrated, and perceive their stress as lower than that of their more externally motivated counterparts. Strong behaviour intentions are significantly correlated with actual exercise frequency. When exercise is performed in a qigong state, with a heightened level of concentration, adherence is higher than otherwise is the case. Results suggest that health-professionals aiming to secure qigong exercise adherence should stimulate feelings of wellness as an intrinsic motive for exercise, strengthen the individuals’ intention to exercise, and promote a calm energy state (low-stress and high energy) before commencement of exercise.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro universitet , 2009. , 83 p.
Series
Örebro Studies in Sport Sciences, ISSN 1654-7535 ; 2
Keyword [en]
Qigong exercise, mindfulness, adherence, motivation, intention, stress
National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Research subject
Sports Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-5796ISBN: 978-91-7668-652-2 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-5796DiVA: diva2:174503
Public defence
2009-03-20, Hörsal G, Örebro universitet, Örebro, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2009-02-24 Created: 2009-02-23 Last updated: 2015-01-20Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Qigong exercise with concentration predicts increased health
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Qigong exercise with concentration predicts increased health
2006 (English)In: THE American journal of Chinese medicine, ISSN 0192-415X, Vol. 34, no 6, 949-957 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Regular physical activity has many positive health effects. Despite this, approximately 50% of all adults are not exercising enough to enjoy better health and may therefore need an alternative to vigorous physical exercise. Qigong offers a gentle way to exercise the body. A questionnaire sample of 253 participants was collected and correlations with the variable Health-now were analyzed. Results showed that Health-now was positively correlated with Number of completed qigong courses (p<.05), with Level of concentration (p<.01), Session-time (p<.01), and Years of practice (p<.05). Among these variables, Concentration predicts an increased feeling of Health (R2 = 0.092). Qigong exercise thereby seems to offer a viable alternative to other more vigorous physical activities when wellness is the primary goal. When interpreted using self-determination theory, qigong seems to satisfy needs related to autonomy, competence and relatedness, thereby primarily attracting individuals who are intrinsically motivated.

Keyword
Biyun, qigong, exercise, intrinsic motivation
National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Research subject
Sports Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-5791 (URN)
Available from: 2009-02-23 Created: 2009-02-23 Last updated: 2015-01-20Bibliographically approved
2. Intrinsically motivated qigong exercisers are more concentrated and less stressful
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Intrinsically motivated qigong exercisers are more concentrated and less stressful
2008 (English)In: THE American journal of Chinese medicine, ISSN 0192-415X, Vol. 36, no 6, 1051-1060 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Low-intensity qigong exercise has been suggested as an alternative to more vigorous exercise when striving for health benefits. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether self-determined motivation and perceived stress are related to concentration during exercise, and to the amount of exercise carried out. Leisure-time qigong exercisers (n = 279) were assessed by using the Sport Motivation Scale, Stress and Energy Scale, and by self-rated Concentration. Exercise sessions per week, Session time, and ability to Set a time for exercise, and perceived Disturbance during exercise were also recorded. Participants who were in a Calm energy mood (low-stress, high-energy, able to set a time for exercise), displayed an increased Concentration on qi-flow (R(2) = 0.13) during exercise. An elevated stress-level correlated negatively with Health, Energy, Concentration, Sessions per week, Session time, Sessions performed during the previous week, ability to Set a time for exercise, and feeling Undisturbed during exercise (all p < 0.01). Intrinsic motivation was positively correlated with Concentration (0.24, p < 0.01) and negatively correlated with Stress (-0.19, p < 0.05). Individuals who adhere to a regular qigong exercise regimen are more intrinsically motivated, less stressed, and more concentrated while exercising than those who do not adhere to a regular regime. This suggests that health-professionals need to be aware of these factors when prescribing qigong exercise for health benefits.

Keyword
qigong exercise, stress, energy, self-determination, motivation
National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences
Research subject
Sports Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-5792 (URN)10.1142/S0192415X08006557 (DOI)19051335 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2009-02-23 Created: 2009-02-23 Last updated: 2015-01-20Bibliographically approved
3. Exercise intention, age and stress predict increased qigong exercise adherence
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Exercise intention, age and stress predict increased qigong exercise adherence
2009 (English)In: Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies, ISSN 1360-8592, E-ISSN 1532-9283, Vol. 13, no 2, 205-211 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Adherence to exercise is paramount if desired health effects are to be achieved. Drop out rates in excess of 50% have been reported, with the intensity of the exercise performed frequently blamed. Qigong is a low-intensity mind-body technique that may offer an alternative to more intense modes of exercise. The aim of this study was therefore to determine if exercise motives, exercise intention, age, stress and energy levels predict adherence to qigong exercise. Participants (n=87) were assessed by self-rated retrospective physical activity behavior, by performed Qigong exercise and Concentration level, and by Sport Motivation Scale, Planned Behavior Questionnaire, and Stress and Energy Scale. Exercise intention, Age and Stress predicted Exercise frequency (R2 = .29); when level of Concentration (a non-baseline assessment) was included as a predictor, prediction strength increased (R2 = .38). Results suggest that health-professionals who are aiming to secure activity adherence and exercise frequency, should focus on strengthening the individual’s intention to exercise, promoting a calm energy state before commencement of exercise, and encouraging a heightened level of concentration during exercise.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2009
Keyword
qigong exercise, adherence, stress, motivation, planned behavior
National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences Social Sciences
Research subject
Sports Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-5793 (URN)10.1016/j.jbmt.2008.08.002 (DOI)
Available from: 2009-02-23 Created: 2009-02-23 Last updated: 2015-01-20Bibliographically approved

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