Can <i>Qigong</i> Be a Tool to Assist Students in Handling COVID-19's Resulting Academic Stress?

Author: Mário Gonçalves1,2,3, Leonel Duarte1, Jorge Magalhães Rodrigues1,2,4, Henry Johannes Greten1,3, Jorge Machado1,2,5
1 ICBAS-UP-School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University of Porto, 4050-313 Porto, Portugal.
2 CBSin-Center of BioSciences in Integrative Health, 4000-105 Porto, Portugal.
3 HSCM-Heidelberg School of Chinese Medicine, 69126 Heidelberg, Germany.
4 IPTC-Research Department in Complementary Medicine of the Portuguese Institute of Taiji and Qigong, 4470-765 Maia, Portugal.
5 LABIOMEP-Porto Biomechanics Laboratory, University of Porto, 4200-450 Porto, Portugal.
Conference/Journal: Healthcare (Basel)
Date published: 2023 Jan 19
Other: Volume ID: 11 , Issue ID: 3 , Pages: 307 , Special Notes: doi: 10.3390/healthcare11030307. , Word Count: 189

The recent COVID-19 pandemic has increased students' stress as they may feel under increased pressure to have a good performance and compensate for the disruption to their education. Improving attention levels and learning capacity may assist in ameliorating academic performance. Qigong is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that appears to have positive effects on the management of mental health and may provide tools for coping with stressful situations. This paper explores data obtained while conducting a previous study and includes an excess of data from a total of 44 participants who were previously divided into an experimental Qigong group and a sham Qigong control group. The improvements in specific auditory processing and reaction times may indicate benefits in attention and learning capacity. These improvements were more pronounced in the experimental Qigong group compared to the sham Qigong group. Qigong may be able to assist in improving students' academic performance and can be easily integrated into physical education classes. It could also assist students to cope with the increased academic pressure resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic context.

Keywords: COVID-19; Qigong; academic stress; attention; learning capacity; reaction time; students.

PMID: 36766882 DOI: 10.3390/healthcare11030307