Men seek an edge in fengshui

Beijing, China - Men are more likely to believe in fengshui - the ancient Chinese art of geomancy - than females.

Fengshui's influence also has greater allure for restaurants and hotels than any other businesses.

These findings into how today's Chinese feel about the relationship between people and the elements of nature were produced by a new survey from, a leading Web-based headhunting firm.

The company collected opinions via the Internet from 12,761 respondents, mostly office workers, to gauge attitudes toward fengshui, whose Chinese characters translate as "wind" and "water."

Nearly 30 percent of the men surveyed said they believe fengshui affects their lives and reported that they laid out their offices along the guiding principles as described in books or by experts in the practice.

Typical actions were growing small plants or raising fish in auspicious locations, decisions meant to encourage the proper transfer of qi, believed to be a form of vital energy.

For female respondents, however, the fengshui figure was only 23 percent.  

Zou Yu, a ChinaHR analyst who majored in psychology, said the use of fengshui by some office workers can be attributed to the strong competitive pressures in modern society.

"Fengshui is not a superstition but a belief," Zou said. "Similar to religion, believers choose to pin their hopes on environmental change and expect to be blessed with good luck when facing tough decisions or other uncertainties."

Meanwhile, people who run restaurants and hotels were the most devout practitioners of fengshui among the business folk. Twenty-two percent of those in the hospitality industry said they were adherents, compared with 11 percent in the architectural design sector.

Hotels and restaurants succeed by creating a harmonious atmosphere for their guests, so it's easy to see why they might turn to a fengshui master for advice.

But why are men more likely to worry about their qi than women? Zou figures it's because men traditionally take more risks than women - and might need a little extra help staying out of trouble.