Flow experience during Taiji practice - an oberservational study in healthy subjects

Nedeljkovic, Marko; Bürgler, Christina; Streitberger, Konrad Markus; Ausfeld-Hafter, Brigitte (2011). Flow experience during Taiji practice - an oberservational study in healthy subjects. In: 4th European Congress for Integrated Medicine. Berlin, Germany. 7-8 October 2011.

Background: Taiji is a mind-body practice, characterised by gentle and mindful body movements originating from Chinese martial arts. Studies investigating the reasons why people engage into Taiji and maintain their practice routine have emphasised extrinsic motivational outcome related aspects. The relevance of intrinsic motivation (i.e. motivation that comes from inside an individual and is driven by an interest or enjoyment in the performed activity itself) has not yet been examined. The autotelic aspect of intrinsic motivation is an essential precondition for experiencing flow, a state where subjects fully immersed into the performance of an activity report to be highly concentrated, optimally challenged and in control of the action. The aim of our study was to assess to which degree flow was experienced in the course of a 3 month Taiji-beginners class and to examine the relationship between the degree of flow experience at the end of the course and the Taiji practice behaviour. Materials and Methods: 28 healthy subjects participated in a Taiji beginners course (2 x 1h per week for 3 months). Flow values were measured at week 1, 6 and 12 by using the Flow-Kurz-Skala (FKS) questionnaire. Data were analysed by using ANOVA with repeated measurements, students t-Tests for comparison with normative values, and pearson correlation coefficients were calculated. Results: In the course of the 12 weeks Taiji training, mean flow values increased continuously (F(1.34, 8.92) = 19.49; p < .001). The mean value for experienced flow during Taiji practice at week 12 (M = 5.54; SD = ±.77) was significantly above the norm value (t = 3.705; df = 27; p < .01). Since average course attendance rate was high (86.8 %), a ceiling effect is assumed, thus flow values did not correlate with course adherence (r = .236; p = .227). However, a significant correlation was found between flow values at week 12 and practice at home (r = .439; p < .05). Conclusion: Our findings emphasise the potential value of intrinsic motivational aspects inherent in Taiji practice for developing a regular practice routine. The impact of increased flow experience on health related outcome measures, and its relevance in clinical trials is subject of further research.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Abstract)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Intensive Care, Emergency Medicine and Anaesthesiology (DINA) > Clinic and Policlinic for Anaesthesiology and Pain Therapy
04 Faculty of Medicine > Medical Education > Institute of Complementary Medicine (ICOM)

UniBE Contributor:

Nedeljkovic, Marko; Streitberger, Konrad Markus and Ausfeld, Brigitte


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Jeannie Wurz

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:24

Last Modified:

23 Jan 2018 12:16


https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/8614 (FactScience: 214212)

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