Effects of Qigong practice in office workers with chronic non-specific low back pain: A randomized control trial

J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2019 Apr;23(2):375-381. doi: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2018.02.004. Epub 2018 Feb 12.


Objective: To investigate the effects of Qigong practice, Guan Yin Zi Zai Gong level 1, compared with a waiting list control group among office workers with chronic nonspecific low back pain (CNLBP).

Methods: A randomized controlled trial was conducted at offices in the Bangkok Metropolitan Region. Seventy-two office workers with CNLBP were screened for inclusion/exclusion criteria (age 20-40 years; sitting period more than 4 h per day) and were allocated randomly into two groups: the Qigong and waiting list groups (n = 36 each). The participants in the Qigong group took a Qigong practice class (Guan Yin Zi Zai Gong level 1) for one hour per week for six weeks at their workstation. The participants were encouraged to conduct the Qigong exercise at home every day. The waiting list group received general advice regarding low back pain management. The primary outcomes were pain intensity, measured by the visual analog scale, and back functional disability, measured by the Roland and Morris Disability Questionnaire. The secondary outcomes were back range of motion, core stability performance index, heart rate, respiratory rate, the Srithanya Stress Scale (ST-5), and the global perceived effect (GPE) questionnaire.

Results: Compared to the baseline, participants in the Qigong group experienced significantly decreased pain intensity and back functional disability. No statistically significant difference in these parameters was found in the waiting list group. Comparing the two groups, Qigong exercise significantly improved pain intensity, back functional impairment, range of motion, core muscle strength, heart rate, respiratory rate, and mental status. The Qigong group also had a significantly higher global outcome satisfaction than the waiting list group.

Conclusion: Qigong practice is an option for treatment of CNLBP in office workers.

Keywords: Chronic low back pain; Nonspecific low back pain; Office workers; Qigong.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain / therapy*
  • Male
  • Mental Health
  • Muscle Strength / physiology
  • Occupations
  • Pain Measurement
  • Qigong / methods*
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Respiratory Rate / physiology
  • Sedentary Behavior
  • Young Adult