Physical education model with yoga basics for students’ life quality improvement

PhD, Associate Professor A.P. Anishchenko1
Dr. Med., Professor V.A. Zaborova2
Dr. Med., Professor K.G. Gurevich1, 3
Dr. Med., Professor K.M. Lomonosov2
1A.I. Yevdokimov Moscow State University of Medicine and Dentistry, Ministry of Health of Russia, Moscow
2I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University (Sechenov University), Moscow
3Research Institute for Health Care and Medical Service Management of the Moscow City Health Department, Moscow

Keywords: students, psychology, physical education, life quality.

Background. Presently many authors rank physical inactivity and insufficient activity among the core ‘diseases of civilization’. A significant fall in the need for everyday movements may be explained by progress of the improved transport systems, growing automation of the production processes and the inflow of many home appliances (vacuum cleaners, washing machines, etc.). Many physically inactive specialties (for example, a computer operator) are in growing demand on the market today. The physical inactivity is further aggravated by the passive mindsets with excuses like ‘I am no more that [fit or young]’, “I’ve got no time for that’, etc. It should be mentioned that many chronic non-infectious diseases are known to be more or less caused by a physical inactivity [4, 10, 13].

Social institutions and agencies are trying to respond to the growing physical inactivity in one way or another. Thus the national education programs give a growing priority to the modern physical education methods [4]. Medical universities, for example, design and manage the academic physical education service as provided by the FSES 3+ albeit the regular physical education service covers only a small proportion of the everyday academic study time. The Moscow State University of Medicine and Dentistry (MSUMD) management has taken efforts to address the physical inactivity related issues by the physical education service improvement programs. It is important that the valid FSES require from the students to pass the GTO Complex tests, whilst the updated physical education service curricula include a yoga basics mastering course [1].

Objective of the study was to analyze benefits of a new academic physical education model with yoga basics for students’ physical activation and mental status improvement purposes.

Methods and structure of the study. Sampled for the three-year model testing experiment were the 1-3 year MSUMD students (n= 206 including 133 females and 73 males) aged 17.5±1.5 years on average at the onset of the experiment, with every student giving an informed consent for the tests that were approved by the MSUMD Ethics Committee and Ministry of Health (minutes #0214 of 27.02.2014).

The sample was split into Experimental Group (EG, n=101 including 79 females and 22 males) and Reference Group, with the EG trainings run as required by the new physical education model versus the traditional physical education of the RG. The 2-hour physical education sessions were run once a week on the standard academic schedule, with 18 physical education sessions per semester and 36 per year. The sample was tested by the pre-experimental tests (year 1); yearly progress test (year 2) and one year after the physical education trainings were completed (year 3).

Attitude to own health and life quality was tested by the verified Russian equivalents of the WHOQOL-100 questionnaire survey form; and the physical activity was rated by the IPAQ questionnaire form – to obtain profiles of the reported weekly physical activity.

Results and discussion. The EG trainings were tested to significantly improve health, physical wellbeing and physiological comfort, independence and life quality. It is important that the progress was tested both at the active training stage and upon completion of the physical education course: see Table 1.

Table 1. Life quality variations (pre-experimental vs. progress vs. post-experimental test rates) in the academic physical education period

Test scale

Pre-exp. test

Progress test (1 year)

Post-exp. test (2 years)











Physical wellbeing






Physiological comfort













Social relations






Attitude to the surrounding












Total life quality






Note: *significant progress with p<0.05


Growth of the mentality rates in both of the groups may be attributed to the maturing process. The life quality was rated unvaried in the attitudes to surrounding and social relations tests, whilst the other tests showed variation of the life quality rates with the total physical activity rates: see Figure 1 hereunder. The physical activity in the EG was tested to grow even upon completion of the active practices – versus the RG where the physical activity was virtually unvaried for the experimental period and dropped thereafter.

Figure 1. Physical activity variations rated by the IPAQ test in the experimental period

* significant difference with p<0.05

Since physical inactivity is largely inevitable with the social progress, we have fair reasons to expect the physical inactivity related issues being aggravated with time [11] all the more that the ‘immobilizing’ smartphones and other modern gadgets are increasingly popular in the youth communities [5]. We believe that physical activity is the only accessible and effective way to counter the negative effects of the growing physical inactivity. Special efforts need to be taken to cultivate healthy sporting lifestyles in the green days when behavioral stereotypes are formed, with a high priority given to the modern physical education with game elements – albeit some categories of young trainees may still be poorly motivated for the physical education service [6].

It should be mentioned that the education system makes persistent attempts to revise the physical education programs so that to make them more appealing. The new physical education tools include elements of ball dancing, aerobics, team sports and martial arts to activate and motivate trainees [12, 8, 7]. The new model analyzed herein makes a special emphasis on stretching practices [2]. We found that the nutritional preferences of the EG were naturally modified to more healthy ones with progress of the trainings [3].

Conclusion. The new physical education model gives no place for an ‘underdog complex’ in the group, and this was one of the reasons for the high interest of the students in the trainings. Proved benefits of the new physical education model give grounds to recommend it for a broad-scale implementation.

The study was sponsored by the Presidential Grant under the Leading Russian Universities Competitiveness Building Project


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The study analyzes benefits of a new physical education model with yoga basics for students’ life quality improvement via progress in the world outlook. Sampled for the three-year model testing experiment were 206 university students. The trainings under the new physical education model versus the traditional physical education were found beneficial as verified by the significant progress in the life quality on health, physical and physiological comfort, independence and the overall life quality scales, with the progress found to retain after the active practices. The life quality improvements were found associated with positive changes in the physical activity in the yoga group, with the physical activity tested to grow upon completion of the active training period. Physical activity in the groups engaged in the traditional physical education was found to stay virtually the same at the active training stage and sag upon its completion. The new physical education model gives no place for an ‘underdog complex’ in the group, and this was one of the reasons for the high interest of the students in the trainings. Proved benefits of the new physical education model give grounds to recommend it for a broad-scale implementation.