Energy Expenditure Characteristics of Guo Lin Qi-Gong Exercise in Cancer Survivors: A Preliminary Report

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date




Guo Lin Qi-gong is a Chinese body-mind exercise, which includes a number of standing and walking components using a unique "inhale-inhale-exhale" breathing pattern and has been practiced by thousands of cancer survivors in China. Yet, its energy expenditure (EE) characteristics have not been studied.

PURPOSE: To determine EE characteristics of 9 key components of Guo Lin Qi-gong and compare them with a free-living walking.

METHOD: 40 (20 males/females; Age = 61.98±7.31 yr., HT = 163.92±6.19 cm, WT = 63.04±9.82 kg, Fat% by DXA =28.30±9.36) Chinese long-term (16.54±4.12 yr.) cancer survivors, who have practiced Guo Lin Qi-gong since their cancer diagnosis, were recruited for the study. Their resting metabolic rates (RMR) were measured by COSMED FITMAT calorimetry and EE (VO2 ml-1) during Guo Lin Qi-gong practice by component were measured by COSMED K4b2 pulmonary. Components were performed in a counter-balanced order, 10 min per component, with a 5-10 min break between each. The speed of the walking components was recorded. For comparison, their EE during a 10-min free-living walk at a comfortable speed were also measured. MET values of each component were computed.

RESULTS: M±SD of RMR are 204.74±34.15 ml/min; therefore, a slightly lower 1-MET value (3.29±.58 ml/min/kg). MET values of Guo Lin Qi-gong components, along with heart rate and walking speed, are summarized below (MET, Heart Rate in beat/min, & Speed in meter/min):

1. Warm-up (1.80, 88.22±12.45, NA)

2. Wind Breath Natural Walking (3.65, 102.06±13.65, 38.77±14.60)

3. Step-in-Place Gong (2.65, 96.28±13.34, NA)

4. Up-and-Down/Open-and-Close (2.72, 97.22±11.65, NA)

5. One-Step Toe Touch Walking (3.21, 98.68±12.07, 12.13±3.69)

6. Two-Step Toe Touch Walking (2.97, 98.55±11.64, 18.20±4.92)

7. Three-Step Toe Touch Walking (3.10, 100.01±12.57, 16.08±4.20)

8. Strong Wind Breath Fast Walking (4.83, 115.49±15.56, 72.90±11.59)

9. Close-up (1.89, 91.30±12.70, NA)

10. 10-Min Free-Living Walking (3.58, 96.09±12.32, 56.56±13.34).

CONCLUSION: Guo Lin Qi-gong is a low-to-moderate intensity aerobic exercise. With its unique breathing pattern, relative oxygen intake of several components is rather large considering the slow walking speed employed. Guo Lin Qi-gong is an excellent exercise format for cancer survivorship.