VOLUME 17 (Supplement)

SciEnggJ%202024%20Special%20Issue%20148 154 Maarof%20et%20al

SciEnggJ 17 (Supplement) 163-175
available online: May 13, 2024
DOI: https://doi.org/10.54645/202417SupULJ-62

*Corresponding author
Email Address: clvelayo@up.edu.ph
Date received: February 10, 2024
Date revised: March 09, 2024
Date accepted: March 16, 2024


Sheng Zhen Gong in pregnancy: The effects of a traditional low intensity exercise form on maternofetal health and wellbeing

Clarissa L. Velayo*1,2, Sherri Ann L. Suplido2, Alvin Duke R. Sy3, Ourlad Alzeus G. Tantengco1, Ruben N. Caragay4, and Manuela T. Zuniga5

1Department of Physiology, College of Medicine,
     University of the Philippines – Manila
2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology,
     University of the Philippines - Philippine General Hospital
3Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics,
     College of Public Health, University of the Philippines – Manila
4College of Medicine, Bicol University, Legazpi, Albay
5Capitol Medical Center, Quezon Avenue, Quezon City

KEYWORDS: Sheng Zhen Gong, Qigong, pregnancy, low intensity exercise, PPAQ, WEMWBS

Objective: The aim of the study was to evaluate maternal and fetal responses to Sheng Zhen Gong (SZG), a low intensity form of exercise, using multi-modal antenatal surveillance techniques.

Methods: This was a single-blinded randomized controlled trial in low risk pregnant women from a tertiary center in the Philippines. Participants were randomized into Chronic Exercise (CE), Acute Exercise (AE) and No Exercise (NE) groups. A Pregnancy Physical Activity Questionnaire (PPAQ) was given to ascertain baseline activities. Systematic periodic assessment was performed utilizing standard ultrasound and Doppler studies between 20+0 to 32+0 weeks gestation with or without sessions involving a biophysical and Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale (WEMWBS) evaluation before and after SZG exercise.

Results: Eighty-nine (89) women were included with average energy expenditures of light to moderate intensity. In the CE group, systolic, diastolic, mean arterial pressures and heart rates were lower while oxygen saturations increased after exercise (n=35; p: <0.01 to 0.01). There were also observable significant increases in maternal well-being scores after exercise for both CE (n=35) and AE (n=21) groups (p<0.01). Increasing the frequency of exercise was also associated with better maternal well-being (p: 0.02). Fetal Doppler studies showed no significant changes after exercise.

Conclusion: In normal pregnancy, routine low intensity physical activity in the form of SZG was seen to have positive effects on maternal cardiovascular, blood glucose and mental well-being maintenance with no evidence of detrimental effects on the fetus.

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