Journal of PHYSIOLOGICAL ANTHROPOLOGY (J Physiol Anthropol)

Publisher: Nihon Seiri Jinrui Gakkai, BioMed Central

Journal description

Journal of the Japan Society of Physiological Anthropology.

RG Journal Impact: 1.22 *

*This value is calculated using ResearchGate data and is based on average citation counts from work published in this journal. The data used in the calculation may not be exhaustive.

RG Journal impact history

2018 RG Journal impactAvailable summer 2019
2010 RG Journal impact1.22
2009 RG Journal impact1.68
2008 RG Journal impact1.18
2007 RG Journal impact0.98

RG Journal impact over time

RG Journal impact
RG Journal impact over timeGraph showing a linear path with a yearly representation of impact points of the journal

Additional details

Cited half-life6.00
Immediacy index0.16
Eigenfactor0.00
Article influencedata not available
WebsiteJournal of Physiological Anthropology website
Other titlesJournal of physiological anthropology (Online), JPA
ISSN1880-6791
OCLC67719282
Material typeDocument, Periodical, Internet resource
Document typeInternet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

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  • Background Although high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL) level is inversely correlated with cardiovascular events, HDL is also reported to be positively associated with hypertension, which is a known endothelial impairment factor. Since HDL mediates important protective actions on the vascular endothelium by increasing the number of circulating endothelial progenitor cells (CD34-positive cells), the level of circulating CD34-positive cells should influence the association between HDL and hypertension. Methods To investigate the association between HDL and hypertension in relation to the level of circulating CD34-positive cells, we conducted a cross-sectional study of 477 elderly men aged 60–69 years who participated in general health checkup. Results HDL was found to be significantly positively associated with hypertension in subjects with a high level of circulating CD34-positive cells, while no significant association was observed for subjects with low circulating CD34-positive cells. Known cardiovascular risk factors adjusted odds (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of hypertension for increments of one standard deviation (SD) in HDL (13.8 mg/dL) were 1.44 (1.06, 1.96) for subjects with a high level of circulating CD34-positive cells and 0.87 (0.63, 1.19) for subjects with low circulating CD34-positive cells. We also revealed a significant association between HDL level and CD34-positive cell level on hypertension, with fully adjusted p values for the effect of this interaction on hypertension at 0.022. Conclusions Independent of known cardiovascular risk factors, HDL was found to be positively associated with hypertension in subjects with a high level of circulating CD34-positive cells but not for subjects with low circulating CD34-positive cells.
  • Background Baseline heart rate variability (HRV) is linked to prospective cardiovascular health. We tested intensity and duration of weekly physical activity as predictors of heart rate variability in young adults. Main body of the abstract Time and frequency domain indices of HRV were calculated based on 5-min resting electrocardiograms collected from 82 undergraduate students. Hours per week of both moderate and vigorous activity were estimated using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire. In regression analyses, hours of vigorous physical activity, but not moderate activity, significantly predicted greater time domain and frequency domain indices of heart rate variability. Adjusted for weekly frequency, greater daily duration of vigorous activity failed to predict HRV indices. Conclusions Future studies should test direct measurements of vigorous activity patterns as predictors of autonomic function in young adulthood.
  • Background A large number of microorganisms reside within the gastrointestinal tract, especially in the colon, and play important roles in human health and disease. The composition of the human gut microbiota is determined by intrinsic host factors and environmental factors. While investigating environmental factors to promote human health is of great interest, few studies have focused on their effect on the gut microbiota. This study aimed to investigate differences in gut microbiota composition according to lifestyle and geographical area, even in people with similar genetic background. Methods We enrolled ten and nine elderly women in their seventies from island and inland areas, respectively. Fecal samples were obtained from individuals, and bacterial 16S ribosomal RNA genes were analyzed by next-generation sequencing to define the gut microbiota composition. We assessed their diet, which can influence the gut microbial community. We also conducted physical examination and determined the physical activity levels of the subjects. Results The inland subjects had a significantly higher rectal temperature, systolic blood pressure, and heart rate and a significantly lower physical activity score than the island subjects. Fecal samples from the island group showed a tendency to have greater microbial diversity than those from the inland group. Interestingly, the microbial community composition differed significantly between the two groups. Catenibacterium was enriched in subjects from the island area. Catenibacterium showed a negative correlation with rectal temperature and a positive correlation with the dietary level of animal fat. In contrast, Butyricimonas was enriched in the inland subjects. A positive correlation was found between Butyricimonas and mean arterial pressure. Conclusions This study identified differences in the gut microbiota composition between elderly women from different parts of South Korea, and our findings suggest that further studies of the human gut microbiota should evaluate aspects of the living environment.
  • Background In the contemporary life environments, our body is increasingly exposed to various sources of colored light, which may affect our physiological functions as non-image-forming effects. We examined the impacts of colored lights on the autonomic functions by the analysis of heart rate variability (HRV). Methods A lighting device consisting of four organic light-emitting diode (OLED) modules (55 × 55 mm²) with adjustable red-green-blue color was secured 24 cm above the eyes of subject lying supine in a light-shielded laboratory. Following a 15-min supine rest, electrocardiogram and respiration were measured continuously during 3-min darkness, 6-min colored OLED illumination, and 3-min darkness under paced breathing (15 breath/min). The measurements were repeated at a 45-min interval for red, green, and blue lights with melanopsin-stimulating photon flux density (MSPFD) of 0.00, 0.10, and 0.20 μmol/m²/s, respectively, in 12 healthy subjects (23 ± 2 years, two females). Additionally, the effects of blue lights with 0.20, 0.10, and 0.04 μmol/m²/s MSPFD were examined in four healthy subjects (25–39 years, two females). HRV was analyzed for low-frequency (LF, 0.04–0.15 Hz) and high-frequency (HF, 0.20–0.30 Hz) power and LF-to-HF ratio (LF/HF). Results Compared to darkness before lighting, HF power decreased (P < 0.001) and LF/HF increased (P = 0.024) during lighting on average of all color lights, whereas HF power showed a greater decrease with blue light than with red and green lights (P < 0.05 for both). The decrease in HF power lasted even during darkness after lighting (P < 0.001). HF power decreased with blue light with 0.20 μmol/m²/s MSPFD (P < 0.001) but not with that with 0.10 or 0.04 μmol/m²/s (P = 0.1 and 0.9, respectively). Conclusions Vagal cardiac modulation is suppressed by OLED blue light in healthy subjects most likely through melanopsin-dependent non-image-forming effect.
  • Background Understanding the whole-body patterns of joint flexibility and their related biological and physical factors contributes not only to clinical assessments but also to the fields of human factors and ergonomics. In this study, ranges of motion (ROMs) at limb and trunk joints of young adults were analysed to understand covariation patterns of different joint motions and to identify factors associated with the variation in ROM. Methods Seventy-eight healthy volunteers (42 males and 36 females) living on Okinawa Island, Japan, were recruited. Passive ROM was measured at multiple joints through the whole body (31 measurements) including the left and right side limbs and trunk. ResultsComparisons between males and females, dominant and non-dominant sides, and antagonistic motions indicated that body structures influence ROMs. In principal component analysis (PCA) on the ROM data, the first principal component (PC1) represented the sex difference and a similar covariation pattern appeared in the analysis within each sex. Multiple regression analysis showed that this component was associated with sex, age, body fat %, iliospinale height, and leg extension strength. Conclusions The present study identified that there is a spectrum of “masculine” and “feminine” types in the whole-body patterns of joint flexibility. This study also suggested that body proportion and composition, muscle mass and strength, and possibly skeletal structures partly explain such patterns. These results would be important to understand individual variation in susceptibility to joint injuries and diseases and in one’s suitable and effective postures and motions.
  • Background: Seasonal variations in physiology and behavior have frequently been reported. Light is the major zeitgeber for synchronizing internal circadian rhythms with the external solar day. Non-image forming effects of light radiation, for example, phase resetting of the circadian rhythms, melatonin suppression, and acute alerting effects, depend on several characteristics of the light exposure including intensity, timing and duration, spectral composition and previous light exposure, or light history. The aim of the present study was to report on the natural pattern of diurnal and seasonal light exposure and to examine seasonal variations in the circadian change of melatonin and cortisol concentrations for a group of Swedish office workers. Methods: Fifteen subjects participated in a field study that was carried out in the south of Sweden. Ambulatory equipment was used for monthly measurements of the daily exposure to light radiation across the year. The measurements included illuminance and irradiance. The subjects collected saliva samples every 4 h during 1 day of the monthly measuring period. Results: The results showed that there were large seasonal differences in daily amount of light exposure across the year. Seasonal differences were observed during the time periods 04:00-08:00, 08:00-12:00, 12:00-16:00, 16:00-20:00, and 20:00-24:00. Moreover, there were seasonal differences regarding the exposure pattern. The subjects were to a larger extent exposed to light in the afternoon/evening in the summer. During the winter, spring, and autumn, the subjects received much of the daily light exposure in the morning and early afternoon. Regarding melatonin, a seasonal variation was observed with a larger peak level during the winter and higher levels in the morning at 07:00. Conclusions: This study adds to the results from other naturalistic studies by reporting on the diurnal and seasonal light exposure patterns for a group living at a northern latitude of 56° N, with large annual variations in photoperiod length. It seems to be seasonal variation in the lighting conditions, both concerning intensities as well as regarding the pattern of the light exposure to which people living at high latitudes are exposed which may result in seasonal variation in the circadian profile of melatonin.
  • Aim Sit-to-stand (STS) test is extensively used to assess the functionality of the lower body in elderly people. This study aimed to examine how the score of STS can be associated with that of maximal walking (MW) tests through a cross-sectional as well as longitudinal analysis for non-disabled older women. Method Times taken for a 10-time-repeated STS (STS time) and 5-m MW (MW time) were determined before (pre) and after (post) a 3-month body mass-based exercise program in 154 non-disabled women aged 60 to 79 years. In addition to the time scores, STS and MW power indexes (STS-PI and MW-PI, respectively) were calculated using the following equations: STS-PI = (body height − 0.4) × body mass × 10/STS time and MW-PI = body mass × 5/MW time. Results At pre- and post-intervention, STS-PI was significantly correlated to MW-PI, with higher correlation coefficients (r = 0.545–0.567, P < 0.0001) than those between the two time scores (r = 0.271–0.309, P < 0.001). The intervention significantly improved STS-time (13.6 ± 3.2 s at pre to 9.4 ± 1.8 s at post, P < 0.0001), MW time (2.4 ± 0.3 s to 2.2 ± 0.3 s, P < 0.0001), STS-PI (46.5 ± 12.5 to 65.7 ± 12.7, P < 0.0001), and MW-PI (112.1 ± 20.2 to 124.2 ± 24.4, P < 0.0001). There were significant correlations between the changes of STS and MW times (r = 0.281, P < 0.001) and between those of STS-PI and MW-PI (r = 0.366, P < 0.0001). Conclusion In elderly women, the performance of sit-to-stand task and its training-induced gain are associated with those of the maximal walking task. In addition, the current results indicated that translation of the performance scores of the sit-to-stand and maximal walking tasks to power indexes may be a useful approach for examining the association between the two tasks.
  • A revolution in the understanding of the pathophysiology of mental illness combined with new knowledge about host/microbiome interactions and psychoneuroimmunology has opened an entirely new field of study, the “psychobiotics”. The modern microbiome is quite changed compared to our ancestral one due to diet, antibiotic exposure, and other environmental factors, and these differences may well impact our brain health. The sheer complexity and scope of how diet, probiotics, prebiotics, and intertwined environmental variables could influence mental health are profound obstacles to an organized and useful study of the microbiome and psychiatric disease. However, the potential for positive anti-inflammatory effects and symptom amelioration with perhaps few side effects makes the goal of clarifying the role of the microbiota in mental health a vital one.
  • Background This study investigated the effect and after-effect of lightly touching a real cane on postural sway and ankle muscle activity. Method Participants performed a single-leg stance (SLS) task with their eyes closed for 30 s under three tasks. In the first and third tasks, the participants performed a normal SLS. In the second task, the participants in light-grip group (n = 11) were asked to perform SLS while lightly gripping a cane with their hand. The participants in depend-on-cane group (n = 11) were asked to support their own body with a cane. Results Postural sway during a single-leg stance is decreased by light gripping and is accompanied by decreased co-contraction of the ankle-joint muscles. If a participant lightly gripped a cane, postural sway decreased not only during the light gripping but also immediately after the withdrawal of the cane. Although postural sway and co-contraction in the depend-on-cane group were significantly decreased during the second task compared to the first task, they were not significantly changed between the first and third tasks. Conclusion These results suggest that lightly gripped cane provides a haptic sensory cue that can be used to assist postural control mechanisms due to enhanced perception of self-motion through sensory interaction with the environment through the cane. Further, the haptic sensory cue during postural maintenance might be promoted as a practice effect of postural control.
  • Background The farmers cannot help working in outdoor conditions which have high humidity and solar radiation during the harvest period. Wearable items including clothing are the nearest environment of human body, and to understand the current state of them can be a way to set up an active prevention strategy against the health risk from heat stress in summertime agriculture. The aim of this study was to investigate the work wear and accessories which the elderly farmers used during agricultural working. Methods One hundred twenty farmers (49 males and 71 females) working in nine separate sites on different days took part in this study. The average age of subjects was 61 years old. We examined the types of working posture, clothing, and items that the farmers used and/or wore. We also interviewed the farmers to know why they used such items while working. Results The results of this study were as follows: (1) Farmers worked in the thermal environment which was over wet bulb globe temperature (WBGT) reference value, and the farmers could suffer heat stress due to workload induced from wearing conventional long-sleeved shirts and long trousers which were 0.66 clo in average under this summertime working thermal condition. (2) The farmers tended to change the layer of upper clothing for adapting to weather condition. (3) The types of footwear used seemed to be related with facilities as well as weather, and farmers tended to wear lighter footwear when the weather is hotter or when they work in PVC greenhouse. The majority of elderly farmers wore loafers and rubber shoes which had indistinguishable thin soles. (4) The types of hats showed the difference between facilities as well as gender and only 31.7 % of all participants used long brims. (5) Korean elderly farmers did not use any active cooling item as agricultural auxiliary tools in summer harvesting time. Conclusions Korean elderly farmers worked in poor surroundings which could threaten their health and safety and seemed not to adjust their workload and clothing during summer harvest season. Thus, it would be necessary to monitor individual responses in order to ensure that the risk of heat stress is prevented. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s40101-015-0074-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
  • Background The present study analyses changes in body composition over the course of a working week. The purpose of the study is to identify the size of the changes in the observed parameters by means of typical error of measurement (TE) as the initial value for the interpretation of the detected changes in the repeated measurement in diagnostic practice. Methods The researched group consisted of 86 males, aged 21.4 ± 1.0 years. All the participants were free of any medical conditions. The measurement of each participant took place over 1 week from Monday till Friday, in the morning hours. Parameters measured: body mass (BM), total body water (TBW), and body fat (BF). The measurement employed two devices using the bioelectric impedance analysis. These devices were the analyzers Tanita BC 418 MA and Nutriguard MS. In order to assess the differences between the average values, the analysis of repeated measurements was used. To assess the material significance, eta squared was used. TE was used to express the size of the changes in the observed parameters. Results A statistically significant difference between the average values of the observed parameters was only detected when using the Tanita BC 418 MA analyzer. Based on the post-hoc tests, these differences in the average values were always detected on Monday and Friday. No material significance was proved, however. The highest TE values were also detected in measurements carried out on Monday and Friday. For BM, the value of TE was 0.6 kg, for TBW 1.0–1.1 %, 0.8–0.9 kg, and for BF 1.2–1.6 %, 1.1–1.3 kg depending on the analyzer used. Conclusions The results of the present study demonstrate the stability of parameters of body composition throughout a working week, with the provision that standard measuring conditions are fulfilled. For the purpose of diagnostic practice, when interpreting the results of the repeated measurements, it is advisable to take as provable change caused by the observed factors only the ones whose values exceed the value of a weekly TE or the upper limit of the interval of the measurement reliability.
  • It has been reported that 75% of stairway accidents occur while descending stairs. Using a cane can help to prevent older people and those with limited mobility from falling. However, studies have shown that two-thirds of older cane users use a cane that is longer than the recommended length, which may cause unnecessary muscular loads. This study aims to assess balance and muscular load in older people descending different height steps with different cane lengths. Nine participants (5 males and 4 females) aged over 65 years participated in this study. Cane length and stair height were independent variables. Electromyography signals were recorded from the biceps brachii of the arm that usually held the cane and from both gastrocnemius muscles. In addition, the center of pressure (CoP) was assessed as an indicator of balance in older people descending a step. Descending from higher steps resulted in the use of greater arm and leg strength at the time of first foot contact. However, cane length did not affect any of the root mean square values. In addition, the CoP Stabilometric Parameters showed that mean distance, antero-posterior mean distance, total excursions, antero-posterior total excursions, mean velocity, and antero-posterior mean velocity were significantly affected by step height, but not by cane length. If cane length is within the currently suggested range, then it has little effect on the force load on the arm and legs when descending a step. Step height has a greater effect than cane length on the strategies used by older people to maintain stability.
  • It has been reported that oxygen uptake (VO2) increases exponentially with levels of the pedal rate during cycling. The purpose of this study was therefore to test the hypothesis that the O2 cost for internal power output (Pint) exerted in exercising muscle itself would be larger than for an external power output (Pext) calculated from external load and pedal rate during cycling exercise under various conditions of Pint and Pext in a large range of pedal rates. The O2 cost (DeltaVO2/ Deltapower output) was investigated in three experiments that featured different conditions on a cycle ergometer that were carried out at the same levels of total power output (Ptot; sum of Pint and Pext) (Exp. 1), Pext (Exp. 2) and load (Exp. 3). Each experiment consisted of three exercise tests with three levels of pedal rate (40 rpm for a lower pedal rate: LP; 70-80 rpm for a moderate pedal rate: MP; and 100-120 rpm for a higher pedal rate: HP) lasting for 2-3 min of unloaded cycling followed by 4-5 min of loaded cycling. Blood lactate accumulations (2.3-3.4 mmol l(-1)) at the HP were significantly higher compared with the LP (0.6-0.9 mmol l(-1)) and MP (0.9-1.0 mmol l(-1)) except for the LP in Exp. 1. The VO2 (360-432 ml min(-1) for LP, 479-644 ml min(-1) for MP, 960-1602 ml min(-1) for HP) during unloaded cycling in the three experiments increased exponentially with increasing pedal rates regardless of Pext=0. Moreover, the slope of the VO2-Pint (13.7 ml min(-1) W(-1)) relation revealed a steeper inclination than that of the VO2-Pext (10.2 ml min(-1) W(-1)) relation. We concluded that the O2 cost for Pint was larger than for Pext during the cycling exercises, indicating that the O2 cost for Ptot could be affected by the ratio of Pint to Ptot due to the levels of pedal rate.
  • The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of the force tremor (FT) on mechanomyographic (MMG) signals recorded by a condenser microphone (MIC) and an accelerometer (ACC) during measurement of agonist and antagonist muscles in sustained isometric contractions. Surface electromyographic (EMG) signals and MMG signals by MIC (MMG-MIC) and ACC (MMG-ACC) were recorded simultaneously on biceps brachii (BB) and triceps brachii (TB). Following determination of the isometric maximum voluntary contraction (MVC), 10 male subjects were asked to perform sustained elbow flexion and extension contractions at 30% MVC until exhaustion. We analyzed the root mean square (RMS) for all signals and compared the sum of the power spectrum (SPA) for 3-6 Hz and 8-12 Hz and the ratio of the sum of SPA for 3-6 Hz and 8-12 Hz in SPA for 3-100 Hz (SPA-FT/SPA-(3-100 Hz)) between MMG-MIC and MMG-ACC. During all sustained muscle contractions, the RMS of EMG and MMG-(MIC) was significantly (p<0.05) increased in antagonistic muscle pairs, while the increase was more noticeable for the agonist than for the antagonist. In addition, the antagonist had a significantly (p<0.05) smaller amplitude than the agonist muscle. The RMS of MMG-ACC, however, showed no significant (p>0.05) difference in RMS amplitude and slope between agonist and antagonist muscles during flexion. In extension, the MMG-ACC-RMS amplitude showed a tendency to be higher in the antagonist than in the agonist, while their slopes showed no significant (p>0.05) difference. The SPA for 3-6 Hz and 8-12 Hz in MMG-(MIC) showed a tendency to be higher in the agonist than the antagonist, and the slopes of the agonist were significantly (p<0.05) higher than those of the antagonist in all contractions. In MMG-ACC, SPA and slopes for 3-6 Hz and 8-12 Hz tended not to differ between agonist and antagonist. The SPA-FT/SPA-(3-100 Hz) in MMG-ACC showed that the antagonist was higher than that of the agonist in all contractions. The MMG-(MIC), however, showed a tendency toward no difference between the agonist and antagonist. In the assessment of muscle activity during simultaneous measurement of the agonist and antagonist during sustained muscle contractions, the MMG signal detected by MIC appeared to be less affected by FT than by ACC due to the different inherent characteristics of the two transducers.
  • We have previously reported that there may be a relationship between bowel habits including functional constipation (FC) and irritable bowel syndrome and sleep health. However, our previous studies were based on only subjective parameters by self-reported questionnaire. The aim of this study is to investigate the relationship between bowel habits such as FC and sleep health using objective parameters. Sleep health was assessed by actigraphy measurement and bowel habits by fecal flora analysis. The FC and control subjects, whose bowel habits were defined at Rome II, were recruited from evaluated respondents in our previous study directed at middle-aged Japanese women, ten FC and ten control subjects participating in this study. Wake after sleep onset (WASO) and WASO (%) (WASO/total sleep time multiplied by 100) in FC subjects was significantly longer and greater than those in control subjects, respectively. Average activity during sleep in FC subjects was significantly higher than that in control subjects. FC had no effect on total sleep time. Bifidobacterium is broadly accepted to be useful intestinal bacteria for human health and one of the indices showing that the intestinal environment is in a desirable condition. Bifidobacterium counts per gram of wet feces and proportion in total bacterial cell counts in FC subjects were significantly lower than those in control subjects. In conclusion, these results suggest that corresponding to low Bifidobacterium counts and proportion, sleep in FC subjects may be worse than that in control subjects. There may be a relationship between bowel habits and sleep health. Bowel habits such as FC might be a risk factor for sleep disorders.
  • The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of a cool environment on the peripheral skin blood flow and subjective thermal sensations of female office workers and female students. The subjects were 26 female bank employees (mean age, 38 years) who worked in a cool environment and 10 female college students (mean age, 22 years). The peripheral skin blood flow was measured using a laser Doppler blood flow meter. In each bank employee, peripheral skin blood flow was measured at three time points during the workday in the medical treatment room at their workplace. In the college students, peripheral skin blood flow was measured every hour between 9:00 and 17:00 in a laboratory. In both the medical treatment room and the laboratory, the room temperature was controlled at 24-26 degrees C with a relative humidity of 55+/-10%. The bank employees and students were each divided into those with hypersensitivity to cold (Group A) and those without hypersensitivity to cold (Group B). When the 10 college students were in the cool environment (24-26 degrees C), their peripheral skin blood flow generally decreased over time. The rate of decrease of this blood flow was greater in Group A than in Group B. In the female bank employees, the peripheral skin blood flow was the lowest at 12:00 (before lunch), was increased at 13:00 (after lunch), and then was decreased at 17:30. However, the degree of the increase from before lunch to after lunch in Group A was about half of that in Group B. Among female office workers and students, a cool environment reduced the peripheral skin blood flow of individuals with hypersensitivity to cold to a greater degree than in those without hypersensitivity to cold.
  • The aim of the present study was to determine whether oxygen supply to non-exercised muscle during recovery following fatiguing exercise is influenced by accumulated metabolites within exercised muscle. Twelve healthy male subjects performed 2-min isometric handgrip exercise at 40% maximal voluntary contraction with their right hand and the exercise was followed by a 3-min recovery period. Muscle oxygen saturation (SmO(2)) determined by near-infrared spatially resolved spectroscopy was used as an index of oxygen supply to non-exercised muscle and was measured in biceps brachii and tibialis anterior muscles on the left side. Compared to the pre-exercise baseline level, SmO(2) in the biceps brachii muscle (SmO(2BB)) increased significantly from 30 sec to 1 min after the start of exercise, while SmO(2) in the tibialis anterior muscle (SmO(2TA)) remained stable during the initial 1 min of exercise. Both SmO(2BB) and SmO(2TA) began to decrease at about 1 min and continued to decrease thereafter. Due to the initial increase in SmO(2BB), only SmO(2TA) showed a significant decrease during exercise. During recovery, SmO(2BB) did not differ significantly from the pre-exercise baseline level, whereas SmO(2TA) remained significantly lower until about 1.5 min of recovery and then it did not differ significantly from the baseline level. In another bout, subjects performed handgrip exercise of the same intensity, but post-exercise arterial occlusion (PEAO) of the exercised muscle was imposed for 2 min immediately after the end of exercise. During PEAO, SmO(2BB) decreased significantly compared to the baseline level, whereas SmO(2TA) remained significantly lower until the end of PEAO. The significant decrease in SmO(2BB) and the prolongation of decrease in SmO(2TA) by PEAO suggests that the recovery of SmO(2) in the non-exercised arm and leg is mediated by muscle metaboreceptors.
  • The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of wearing different kinds of masks on the ear canal temperature, heart rate, clothing microclimate, and subjective perception of discomfort. Ten subjects performed intermittent exercise on a treadmill while wearing the protective masks in a climatic chamber controlled at an air temperature of 25 degrees C and a relative humidity of 70%. Two types of mask-mask A, with exhaust valves and mask B, with exhaust holes-were used in the study. The results of this study indicated: (1) The subjects had a tendency toward lower maximum heart rate when wearing mask A than when wearing mask B. (2) Temperatures and absolute humidities (the outer surface of mask, the microclimate inside the mask, the chest wall skin and microclimate) of mask A were significantly lower than those of mask B. (3) The ear canal temperature increased significantly in mask B as compared to that in mask A. (4) The ear canal temperature showed significant augmentation along with increased temperature and humidity inside the mask microclimate. The mask microclimate temperature also affected significantly the chest microclimate temperature. (5) Mask A was rated significantly lower for perception of humidity, heat, breath resistance, tightness, unfitness, odor, fatigue, and offered less overall discomfort than mask B. (6) Subjective preference for mask A was higher. (7) The ratings of subjective overall discomfort showed significant augmentation along with increased wetness and fatigue. We discuss how the ventilation properties of masks A and B induce significantly different temperature and humidity in the microclimates of the masks and the heat loss of the body, which have profound influences on heart rate, thermal stress, and subjective perception of discomfort.
  • Deep squatting places a burden on the lower limb muscles and influences postural balance. We attempted to determine the effects of postural changes on the rectus femoris, tibialis anterior, gastrocnemius, soleus, and extensor digitorum brevis muscles during squatting in 8 healthy male subjects. Three squatting conditions were involved: full squatting (FS), tiptoe squatting (TT), and tiptoe squatting on a 15 degrees slope (TTS), performed randomly and recorded in a period of 4 min for each task. The influence of the squatting condition on electromyography and vertical ground reaction force parameters was examined in order to observe the effect of postural alteration on muscle activity and balance control. The results showed that the change of squatting posture from FS to TT decreased the activity of the rectus femoris and tibialis anterior muscles. FS has been suspected as a main cause of musculoskeletal complaint during prolonged squatting. In contrast, as the heel was lifted, the extensor digitorum brevis muscle increased to 39% of maximum activation. On the other hand, sway analysis at TT showed balance instability regarding the large area occupation of the center of pressure displacement. The presence of a 15 degrees slope significantly reduced the muscular load. This simple study suggests that the inclusion of a sloping surface in daily activities that requires a squatting posture would be an effective means to reduce muscular load.
  • It is necessary to develop a system of nutritional education which can be understood among schoolchildren who have not yet received a basic education. In the present study, we conducted an educational program for lower-grade schoolchildren, which contained dish selection, an agricultural experience, a cooking experience, and a lecture on digestive absorption. We evaluated the effect of this program on development by measuring taste sensitivity regarding sweet, sour, salty and bitter tastes. For the baseline period, there was no significant difference between the intervention school and the control school in each variable. At follow-up periods, both the intervention and the control schools showed an increasing sense of taste. In the intervention school, development of sensitivity to the sweet, the sour, and the bitter taste was significant. In the control school, development of sensitivity to the sweet and the bitter taste was significant. The increases in the sense of the sour and the bitter tastes and the sum of the four tastes for the intervention subjects were significantly larger than comparable values for the control subjects. These results suggest that the development of taste sensitivity is affected by nutritional education for lower-grade elementary schoolchildren.
  • The purpose of this study was to clarify the fall risk characteristics of the elderly participating in an exercise class. The subjects were comprised of 206 elderly Japanese aged 60 or older (37 males, 169 females) who participated in an exercise class, approved by the local government, once a week for 6 months. Physical fitness and ADL capability were evaluated by the physical fitness test of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. Fall risk was evaluated using the Fall Assessment Chart. Subjects were divided into two groups, high fall risk (total fall risk score > or =5) and low fall risk (total fall risk score <5), and the percentage of subjects in the high risk group was calculated. The percentage of subjects with a high fall risk was 15.8%, lower than the documented rate of the community-dwelling elderly in a previous study. Significant differences between fall risk groups were found in balance and ADL capabilities of walking, holding and changing posture and muscular strength. These functions also were significantly related to fall risk elements such as fall anxiety and slipping or stumbling at home in the partial correlation analyses. Improvement of these functions during exercise class may be useful in decreasing fall risk in the elderly.
  • This study aimed to examine the reliability and sex- and age-related differences of step tests with stipulated tempos as well as to clarify useful test parameters and tempos. One hundred forty elderly people and fifty young adults conducted tapping and stepping tests, matching the tempo provided by a metronome. Both tests involve movements where the subject touches a sheet with both the right and left hands or right and left legs at a designated spot. Evaluation parameters were the time difference between the beep sound and the time at which the sheet was touched in both tests as well as two-leg support and one-leg support times in the step test. The trial-to-trial reliability of the parameters in both tests was high. The time differences of both 40 bpm tests in the elderly were larger in males than in females. In the step test, the time difference and two-leg support times of the elderly were larger, in the order of 40, 60, and 120 bpm, and the one-leg support time was less in 40 bpm than 60 bpm or 120 bpm. The one-leg support time of the young subjects was larger, in the order of 40, 60, and 120 bpm. A significant age-related difference was found in the 40 bpm and 60 bpm test, and the time difference and two-leg support time were larger in the elderly while the one-leg support time was larger in the young subjects. The time difference at 40 bpm in the elderly was larger in the step test than in the tap test. There was no significant difference between both tests in the young subjects. In conclusion, the step test with the slow tempo, because it requires a long one-leg support phase, is effective for evaluating dynamic balance in the elderly. The time difference and two-leg and one-leg support times are effective evaluation parameters of the step test.
  • This study determined the physical fitness component that contributes to improving and maintaining health status for each age group as well as quantifying the degree of the relationship between health status and physical fitness in middle-aged and elderly females. The participants were 2,371 females aged 30 to 69 years. Ten physical fitness tests and medical checkups were performed. The participants were divided into a healthy group and an unhealthy group according to health status. Multiple discriminant analysis was applied to the multivariate data. Correct discriminant probabilities of the multiple discriminant function to discriminate the healthy and unhealthy groups for females ranged from 63.0% to 77.5%. These results suggest that there is a relatively high relationship between health status and physical fitness level for middle-aged and elderly females. With each individual's discriminant score calculated by the obtained multiple discriminant function as the index of the degree of health, the Pearson's correlation coefficient of the discriminant score and the performance in each physical fitness test were calculated. The aging change from 30 to 69 years old was classified into four patterns according to the contribution. The result of this study is considered to be useful as objective data to prepare an exercise program considering the contribution of the physical fitness component of health status.
  • The effect of aging on muscular power development was investigated by determining the force-velocity relationship. The muscle cross-sectional area (CSA) was estimated by the thickness of the elbow flexors. The subjects were 19 elderly males aged 69.1+/-3.7 years old (G-70 group), 15 middle-aged males aged 50.9+/-3.5 years old (G-50), and 19 young males aged 21.2+/-1.3 years old (G-20). The G-70 group had the slowest shortening velocities under various load conditions, resulting in the lowest force-velocity relationship. The maximum values for force (Fmax), velocity (Vmax), power (Pmax), dynamic constants (a, b), and the a/Fmax ratio were determined using Hill's equation. The a/Fmax ratio determines the degree of concavity in the force-velocity curve. The a/Fmax ratio was greatest in G-70, followed by those in G-50 and G-20, while the maximum values for force (Fmax), velocity (Vmax), and power (Pmax) were significantly lower in G-70 than in the other groups. Fmax and Pmax per CSA were lowest in G-70, and Vmax per unit muscle length was also lowest in G-70 as compared to the other age groups. The ratio of G-70/G-20 was greatest in Pmax (69.6%), followed by Fmax (75.3%) and Vmax (83.4%). However, there were no significant differences in CSA among the 3 age groups. Our findings suggest that muscle force and shortening velocity may decline gradually in the process of aging attributed to declining muscle function rather than CSA.
  • This study sought to determine the characteristics of gait patterns and muscle activity in the lower extremities of elderly women during underwater treadmill walking against water flow. Eight female subjects (61.4+/-3.9 y) performed underwater and land treadmill walking at varying exercise intensities and velocities. During underwater walking (water level at the xiphoid process) using the Flowmill, which has a treadmill at the base of a water flume, the simultaneous belt and water flow velocities were set to 20, 30 and 4 m.min(-1). Land walking velocities were set to 40, 60 and 80 m.min(-1). Oxygen uptake and heart rate were measured during both walking exercises. Maximum and minimum knee joint angles, and mean angular velocities of knee extension and knee flexion in the swing phase were calculated using two-dimensional motion analysis. Electromyograms were recorded using bipolar surface electrodes for five muscles: the tibialis anterior (TA), medial gastrocnemius (MG), vastus medialis (VM), rectus femoris (RF) and biceps femoris (BF). At the same exercise intensity level, cadence was almost half that on land. Step length did not differ significantly because velocity was halved. Compared to land walking, the maximum and minimum knee joint angles were significantly smaller and the mean angular velocity of knee extension was significantly lower. Knee extension in the swing phase was limited by water resistance. While the muscle activity levels of TA, VM and BF were almost the same as during land walking, those of MG and RF were lower. At the same velocity, exercise intensity was significantly higher than during land walking, cadence was significantly lower, and step length significantly larger. The knee joint showed significantly smaller maximum and minimum angles, and the mean angular velocity of knee flexion was significantly larger. The muscle activity levels of TA, VM, and BF increased significantly in comparison with land walking, although those of MG and RF did not significantly differ. Given our findings, it appears that buoyancy, lower cadence, and a moving floor influenced the muscle activity level of MG and RF at the same exercise intensity level and at the same velocity. These results show promise of becoming the basic data of choice for underwater walking exercise prescription.
  • This study aims at examining the reduction of indoor air contaminants by plants placed in an indoor space. Field measurements were performed using Aglaonema brevispathum, Pachira aquatica, and Ficus benjamiana, which were verified as air-purifying plants by NASA. Three conditions for the amount of plants and positions were used in two separate rooms whose dimensions are identical. The concentration of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) was monitored three hours after the plants were placed and three days after the plants were placed. The variations of concentration of Benzene, Toluene, Etylbenzene, and Xylene (BTEX), as well as Formaldehyde, which are all known as the major elements of Volatile Organic Compounds were monitored. The amount of reduction in concentration of Toluene and Formaldehyde was monitored 3 hours and 3 days after the plants were placed in the space. The reduction in the concentration of Benzene, Toluene, Etylbenzene, Xylene, and Formaldehyde was significantly greater when plants were present. When plants were placed near a window, the reduction of concentration was greater. The more plants were used, the more a reduction of indoor air contaminants occurred. The effect of reducing the concentration of air contaminants increased when the amount of plants increased, and when the plants were placed in sunny area. The concentration of Toluene was reduced by 45.6 microg/m(3) when 10% of the model space was occupied by Aglaonema brevispathum.
  • This study attempts to clarify whether intensity of exercise influences functional sympatholysis during mild rhythmic handgrip exercise (RHG). We measured muscle oxygenation in both exercising and non-exercising muscle in the same arm in 11 subjects using near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), heart rate, and blood pressure. We used the total labile signal to assess the relative muscle oxygenation by occlusion for 6 min. Subjects performed RHG (20 times/min) for 6 min at 10%, 20%, and 30% of maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) at random. We used a non-hypotensive lower body negative pressure (LBNP) of 220 mmHg for 2 min to elicit reproducible enhancement in muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA) at rest and during RHG. LBNP caused decreases of 16.4% and 17.7% of the level of muscle oxygenation at rest (pre) in exercising (forearm) and non-exercising (upper arm) muscle respectively. Muscle oxygenation in non-exercising muscle with the application of LBNP during RHG did not change significantly at each intensity. In contrast, the decrease in muscle oxygenation in exercising muscle attenuated progressively as exercise intensity increased (10% MVC 8.8+/-2.8%, 20% MVC 7.1+/-2.0%, 30% MVC 4.6+/-3.0%), when LBNP was applied during RHG. The attenuation of the decrease in muscle oxygenation due to LBNP during RHG at 10%, 20%, and 30% was significantly different from that at rest (p<0.01). These findings indicate that functional sympatholysis during mild RHG might be attributed to exercise intensity.
  • It is important that task performance is physiologically evaluated in consideration of arousal level. But there are relatively few preceding studies. In this study, the relationship between task performance and physiological indices was studied with regard to attentiveness concentration. The subjects were eight healthy college students. They performed calculations and a visual display terminal (VDT) task. Electroencephalogram (EEG) frequency component, alpha attenuation coefficient (AAC), skin potential level (SPL), blood flow of the finger tip skin (BF), and visual analog scale (VAS), were measured. In order to quantify task performance, correlations between the task performance and physiological indices during the mental task were analyzed. The results suggest that AAC correlates with the error rate in calculation. BF also correlates with the error rate in calculation, while the calculation speed correlates with SPL. It can be inferred that the task speed and error rate are supposed to be related to the different physiological background.
  • This study aimed to determine the accuracy of segmental body composition variables estimated by single-frequency BIA with 8-point contact electrodes (SF-BIA8), compared with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Subjects were 72 obese Japanese adults (43 males and 29 females) aged 30 to 66 years. Segmental body composition variables (fat free mass: FFM, fat mass: FM, and percent fat mass: %FAT) were measured by these techniques. The correlations between impedance values and FFM measured by DXA were calculated. To examine the consistency in predicted values (SF-BIA8) with the reference (DXA), significant mean differences were tested by t-test and the degree of the difference was assessed by effect size. Correlations between the reference and predicted values were calculated. Additionally, the standard error of estimation (SEE) when estimating the reference from the predictor and the relative value of the SEE to the mean value of the DXA measurement (%SEE) were calculated. Systematic error was examined by Bland-Altman plots. High correlations were found between impedance and FFM measured by SF-BIA8. FFM in the extremities showed high correlations with the reference values, but systematic error was found. SF-BIA8 tended to overestimate FFM in the trunk. The consistencies in %FAT and FM with the reference value are inferior to those for FFM, and SEE values in %FAT and FM were greater than those for FFM. The accuracy of the estimated values in the trunk (FFM, %FAT, and FM) are inferior to those of the total body and extremities.
  • This study investigated the effects of worn-out shoes on lower leg stability, shock absorption and energy cost during prolonged walking. Seven male subjects (23.4 +/- 0.5 yr) walked at 4.8 km/h for 60 minutes wearing three different pairs of shoes: two of these pairs had severely and moderately worn soles (EASC: Excessive Attrite Shoe Condition and MASC: Moderate Attrite Shoe Condition, respectively) and the other pair had no wear (NASC: No Attrite Shoe Condition). Impact acceleration at the subtalar at heel strike, rearfoot angles (the subtalar joint and the lower leg) during stance phase, and oxygen uptake (VO2) were measured throughout the 60-minute walk. At the 10th minute of walking, worn-out shoes increased the supination of the subtalar joint and extortion of the lower leg. In addition, VO2 was significant larger in EASC (808.3 ml x min(-1)) than in NASC (749.5 ml x min(-1)). During the 60-minute walk, however, there were no time effects of shoe condition on the rearfoot angles and on VO2. In contrast, impact acceleration at the subtalar joint in EASC remained almost constant until the 30th minute of walking, and then began to elevate. In conclusion, worn-out shoes increased the energy cost and reduced lower leg stability during walking, although these changes were not influenced by walking duration within 60 minutes. However, prolonged walking showed the potential negative effect of worn-out shoe on shock absorption.
  • We established a method to evaluate postural control adaptability, applying it to 341 subjects, aged 18-29 years (young subjects) and 50-79 years, in order to investigate the influences of age and gender on adaptability. Subjects stood with eyes closed on a force plate fixed to a floor oscillator, which was sinusoidally oscillated in the anteroposterior direction with 0.5 Hz frequency and 2.5 cm amplitude. Five trials of 1-minute oscillation were conducted, with a short rest between trials. The mean speed of fluctuation of the center of foot pressure (CFP), as detected by the force plate, was calculated as an index of postural steadiness. Mean CFP speed decreased significantly in all age groups with trial repetition. The adaptability capability of elderly subjects was categorized as "good," "moderate," or "poor," as evaluated against a standard value, based on the variation of the regression of mean CFP speed between the 1st and 5th trials in young subjects. Results showed that the magnitude of reduction in the mean speed, with practice, was linearly related to the initial mean speed. We found a general decline in adaptability, and increase in initial mean speed, in subjects aged 60 years and older, with no gender difference detected in any age group. The proportion of subjects exhibiting moderate and poor adaptability increased gradually with age. In conclusion, age, but not gender, appears to affect adaptation of postural sway with short-term practice, although some elderly subjects maintain postural sway velocity and adaptability capabilities similar to those of young subjects.
  • The present study investigated whether room temperature (T(a)) cycles around dusk and dawn could influence the circadian rhythm of rectal temperature (T(core)), urinary 6-hydroxymelatonin sulfate during nocturnal sleep, and subjective assessments of sleep in humans. Six female and two male students served as participants. Two different T(a) conditions, cyclic and constant, were established. Two kinds of room temperature were provided to subjects: cyclic T(a) (gradual decrease from 27 degrees C to 24 degrees C between 1800 and 2200 h and gradual increase from 24 degrees C to 27 degrees C between 0300 and 0700 h) and constant T(a) (27 degrees C over 24 h). At cyclic T(a), the circadian nadir of T(core) rhythm was significantly advanced, while T(core) was significantly lower from 2300 to 0200 h and significantly higher from 0600 to 1000 h. The nocturnal concentration of 6-hydroxymelatonin sulfate in the urine during sleep was significantly higher during cyclic T(a). Waking sensation just after rising was significantly better with cyclic T(a). (Skin temperatures in the extremities-T(a)) were significantly higher with cyclic T(a) especially during the evening and night. Our results suggest that gradual change of room temperature in the evening and early morning is important in terms of sleep promotion and fresh awakening. It seems probable that mankind has been evolved to have deeper sleep under the influence of cyclic T(a) around dusk and dawn.
  • To examine the disease state of cold constitution, physiological measurements of the foot were conducted by investigating thermal sensations under an environmental condition of 25 degrees C-26 degrees C (neutral temperature) in 29 young women with and without cold constitution. The subjects were classified into 3 groups according to their experiences with cold constitution: cold constitution, intermediate, and normal groups. Foot skin temperature was measured by thermography. Thermal sensations were measured on the dorsum of the left foot using a thermal stimulator. Cold and warm spots on the dorsum of the right foot were ascertained. Thermal stimulation was delivered by a copper probe. No significant differences in foot skin temperature among these 3 groups were identified as measured in a laboratory under neutral temperature conditions. However, the mean warm sensation threshold was +6.3+/-1.09 degrees C (mean+/-SEM) for the cold constitution group (n=14), +3.4+/-2.10 degrees C (mean+/-SEM) for the intermediate group (n=7), and -0.25+/-1.96 degrees C (mean+/-SEM) for the normal group (n=6). The difference was significant between the cold constitution and normal groups. No significant differences among the 3 groups were found in the cold sensation threshold. This may be attributable to the distribution of thermal receptors and to chronically reduced blood flow in subcutaneous tissues, where the skin temperature receptors responsible for temperature sensation are located.
  • The purpose of this study was to determine the metabolic equivalents (METs) for scooter exercise (riding a scooter, scootering) and to examine the energy expenditure and the heart rate response, so that the results can be used in health promotion activities. Eighteen young adults (10 males and 8 females) participated in scootering on a treadmill at three different speeds for six minutes each. Before, during, and after the exercise, pulmonary ventilation, oxygen uptake (VO(2)), carbon dioxide product, respiratory exchange ratio (R), and heart rate (HR) were measured. These measurements kept steady states from the 3rd to 6th minute of each different speed session. The MET values acquired during scootering at 80 m.min(-1), 110 m.min(-1), and 140 m.min(-1) were 3.9, 4.3, and 5.0, respectively. Calculated using VO(2) (ml.kg(-1).min(-1))x[4.0+R], the energy consumption for scootering at each speed was 67.0+/-10.6, 73.3+/-10.2, and 84.8+/-7.9 cal.kg(-1).min(-1), respectively. The regression equation between scootering speed (X, m.min(-1)) and VO(2) (Y, ml.kg(-1).min(-1)) is Y=0.062X+8.655, and the regression equation between HR (X, beats.min(-1)) and VO(2)reserve (Y, %) is Y=0.458X-11.264. These equations can be applied to both females and males. Thus, scootering at 80 to 140 m.min(-1) might not be sufficient to improve the cardiorespiratory fitness of young male adults similar to the participants, but it may contribute many healthy benefits to most female adults and even male adults, and improve their health and fitness at the faster speeds.
  • Hand surface area (HSA) has been utilized for burned skin area estimation in burn therapy, heat exchange in thermal physiology, exposure assessment in occupational toxicology, and the development of manual equipment/ protective gloves in ergonomics. The purpose of this study was to determine the hand surface area to the total body surface area (BSA) and derive a formula for estimating HSA. Thirty-four Korean males (20-60 years old; 158.5-187.5 cm in height; 48.5-103.1 kg in body weight) and thirty-one Korean females (20-63 years old; 140.6-173.1 cm; 36.8-106.1 kg) participated as subjects. The HSA and BSA of 65 subjects were directly measured using alginate. The measurements showed 1) the surface area of the hand had a mean of 448 (371-540) cm(2) for males, and 392 (297-482) cm(2) for females. 2) The hand as a percentage of the total body surface area for males and females was 2.5% and 2.4% respectively, showing no significant difference. 3) The hand as a percentage of BSA by body shape was 2.5% for the lean group and 2.3% for overweight people (p=0.001). 4) When estimating the surface area of a hand, formulae based on hand length or hand circumference were more valid than formulae based on height and body weight. We obtained the following formula for estimating HSA: Estimated HSA(cm(2))=1.219 Hand length(cm) x Hand circumference(cm).
  • Modern manufacturing and design should satisfy not only the requirements of high cost performance but also of the user. Besides that, the social environment which surrounds manufacturing is rapidly changing depending on new technologies. To create future products with user satisfaction, the effective use of human physiological data is essential. This is where knowledge of physiological anthropology can be applied. Physiological anthropologists have been pointing out a limit to the interpretation of the physiological data based on its average value. They have begun to notice that the physiological functions of humans show various types according to the blended effect of heredity and the surroundings. Adequate consideration of physiological polymorphism is indispensable to accomplish manufacturing that is well devised for human. In this study the concept of manufacturing and design based on physiological polymorphism is expressed. The target and the methodology for new manufacturing are discussed in seven fields, that is, welfare equipment, clothes, artificial tissue, sporting gear, furniture, building materials, and human interface. Through the above discussion, a procedure to achieve manufacturing and design based on physiological polymorphism is proposed.
  • This study aimed to assess the relationship between basal metabolic rate (BMR) and metabolic heat production, and to clarify the involvement of BMR in determining the phenotype of cold tolerance. Measurements of BMR, maximum oxygen uptake, and cold exposure test were conducted on ten males. In the cold exposure test, rectal (T(rec)) and mean skin temperatures (T(ms)), oxygen uptake, and blood flow at forearm (BF(arm)) were measured during exposure to cold (10 degrees C) for 90 min. Significant correlations were observed between BMR and increasing rate of oxygen uptake, as well as between decreasing rate of BF(arm) and increasing rate of oxygen uptake at the end of cold exposure. These findings suggested that individuals with a lower BMR were required to increase their metabolic heat production during cold exposure, and that those with a higher BMR were able to moderate increased metabolic heat production during cold exposure because they were able to reduce heat loss. This study showed that BMR is an important factor in determining the phenotype of cold tolerance, and that individuals with a low BMR showed calorigenic-type cold adaptation, whereas subjects with a high BMR exhibited adiabatic-type cold adaptation by peripheral vasoconstriction.
  • In order to find out the most suitable and accurate pointing methods to study the sound localizability of persons with visual impairment, we compared the accuracy of three different pointing methods for indicating the direction of sound sources in a semi-anechoic dark room. Six subjects with visual impairment (two totally blind and four with low vision) participated in this experiment. The three pointing methods employed were (1) directing the face, (2) directing the body trunk on a revolving chair and (3) indicating a tactile cue placed horizontally in front of the subject. Seven sound emitters were arranged in a semicircle 2.0 m from the subject, 0 degrees to +/-80 degrees of the subject's midline, at a height of 1.2 m. The accuracy of the pointing methods was evaluated by measuring the deviation between the angle of the target sound source and that of the subject's response. The result was that all methods indicated that as the angle of the sound source increased from midline, the accuracy decreased. The deviations recorded toward the left and the right of midline were symmetrical. In the whole frontal area (-80 degrees to +80 degrees from midline), both the tactile cue and the body trunk methods were more accurate than the face-pointing method. There was no significant difference in the center (-40 degrees to +40 degrees from midline). In the periphery (-80 degrees and +80 degrees ), the tactile cue pointing method was the most accurate of all and the body trunk method was the next best. These results suggest that the most suitable pointing methods to study the sound localizability of the frontal azimuth for subjects who are visually impaired are the tactile cue and the body trunk methods because of their higher accuracy in the periphery.
  • The present study investigated the circulatory responses to two mental tasks. Forty males and females performed a mental subtraction task and a color-word task. During each task, the systolic and diastolic blood pressure, mean arterial pressure, heart rate, stroke volume, cardiac output, and total peripheral resistance were measured as cardiovascular indices for a 5-min baseline, a 5-min task period, and a 10-min recovery period. As for the results, three hemodynamic reactivity patterns were verified: Pattern C, characterized by increased cardiac output and decreased total peripheral resistance; Pattern M, characterized by a moderate increase in both cardiac output and total peripheral resistance; and Pattern V, characterized by increased total peripheral resistance and decreased cardiac output. Also, four response types were found among all subjects: Type 1: cardiovascular responses showed the cardiac pattern for both tasks; Type 2: cardiovascular responses changed between the cardiac pattern and the mixed pattern with a change of tasks; Type 3: cardiovascular responses showed the mixed pattern for both tasks; Type 4: cardiovascular responses changed between the mixed pattern and the vascular pattern with a change of tasks. The comparison between types showed that Type 3 and Type 4 had an elevation in their blood pressure by an increased total peripheral resistance. On the other hand, Type 1 and Type 2 tended to have an increased blood pressure by a rise in their cardiac output. And Type 3 and Type 4 showed higher blood pressure and higher scores on the Type A behavior pattern questionnaire. In conclusion, at least four types of circulation response to the mental tasks existed, with Type 3 and Type 4 having higher blood pressure responses and tending to have an elevated blood pressure by a rise in their total peripheral resistance.
  • This study aims at examining the reduction of indoor air contaminants by plants placed in an indoor space. Field measurements were performed using Aglaonema brevispathum, Pachira aquatica, and Ficus benjamiana, which were verified as air-purifying plants by NASA. Three conditions for the amount of plants and positions were used in two separate rooms whose dimensions are identical. The concentration of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) was monitored three hours after the plants were placed and three days after the plants were placed. The variations of concentration of Benzene, Toluene, Etylbenzene, and Xylene (BTEX), as well as Formaldehyde, which are all known as the major elements of Volatile Organic Compounds were monitored. The amount of reduction in concentration of Toluene and Formaldehyde was monitored 3 hours and 3 days after the plants were placed in the space. The reduction in the concentration of Benzene, Toluene, Etylbenzene, Xylene, and Formaldehyde was significantly greater when plants were present. When plants were placed near a window, the reduction of concentration was greater. The more plants were used, the more a reduction of indoor air contaminants occurred. The effect of reducing the concentration of air contaminants increased when the amount of plants increased, and when the plants were placed in sunny area. The concentration of Toluene was reduced by 45.6 microg/m(3) when 10% of the model space was occupied by Aglaonema brevispathum.
  • This study attempts to clarify whether intensity of exercise influences functional sympatholysis during mild rhythmic handgrip exercise (RHG). We measured muscle oxygenation in both exercising and non-exercising muscle in the same arm in 11 subjects using near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), heart rate, and blood pressure. We used the total labile signal to assess the relative muscle oxygenation by occlusion for 6 min. Subjects performed RHG (20 times/min) for 6 min at 10%, 20%, and 30% of maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) at random. We used a non-hypotensive lower body negative pressure (LBNP) of 220 mmHg for 2 min to elicit reproducible enhancement in muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA) at rest and during RHG. LBNP caused decreases of 16.4% and 17.7% of the level of muscle oxygenation at rest (pre) in exercising (forearm) and non-exercising (upper arm) muscle respectively. Muscle oxygenation in non-exercising muscle with the application of LBNP during RHG did not change significantly at each intensity. In contrast, the decrease in muscle oxygenation in exercising muscle attenuated progressively as exercise intensity increased (10% MVC 8.8+/-2.8%, 20% MVC 7.1+/-2.0%, 30% MVC 4.6+/-3.0%), when LBNP was applied during RHG. The attenuation of the decrease in muscle oxygenation due to LBNP during RHG at 10%, 20%, and 30% was significantly different from that at rest (p<0.01). These findings indicate that functional sympatholysis during mild RHG might be attributed to exercise intensity.
  • It is important that task performance is physiologically evaluated in consideration of arousal level. But there are relatively few preceding studies. In this study, the relationship between task performance and physiological indices was studied with regard to attentiveness concentration. The subjects were eight healthy college students. They performed calculations and a visual display terminal (VDT) task. Electroencephalogram (EEG) frequency component, alpha attenuation coefficient (AAC), skin potential level (SPL), blood flow of the finger tip skin (BF), and visual analog scale (VAS), were measured. In order to quantify task performance, correlations between the task performance and physiological indices during the mental task were analyzed. The results suggest that AAC correlates with the error rate in calculation. BF also correlates with the error rate in calculation, while the calculation speed correlates with SPL. It can be inferred that the task speed and error rate are supposed to be related to the different physiological background.
  • This study aimed to determine the accuracy of segmental body composition variables estimated by single-frequency BIA with 8-point contact electrodes (SF-BIA8), compared with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Subjects were 72 obese Japanese adults (43 males and 29 females) aged 30 to 66 years. Segmental body composition variables (fat free mass: FFM, fat mass: FM, and percent fat mass: %FAT) were measured by these techniques. The correlations between impedance values and FFM measured by DXA were calculated. To examine the consistency in predicted values (SF-BIA8) with the reference (DXA), significant mean differences were tested by t-test and the degree of the difference was assessed by effect size. Correlations between the reference and predicted values were calculated. Additionally, the standard error of estimation (SEE) when estimating the reference from the predictor and the relative value of the SEE to the mean value of the DXA measurement (%SEE) were calculated. Systematic error was examined by Bland-Altman plots. High correlations were found between impedance and FFM measured by SF-BIA8. FFM in the extremities showed high correlations with the reference values, but systematic error was found. SF-BIA8 tended to overestimate FFM in the trunk. The consistencies in %FAT and FM with the reference value are inferior to those for FFM, and SEE values in %FAT and FM were greater than those for FFM. The accuracy of the estimated values in the trunk (FFM, %FAT, and FM) are inferior to those of the total body and extremities.
  • This study investigated the effects of worn-out shoes on lower leg stability, shock absorption and energy cost during prolonged walking. Seven male subjects (23.4 +/- 0.5 yr) walked at 4.8 km/h for 60 minutes wearing three different pairs of shoes: two of these pairs had severely and moderately worn soles (EASC: Excessive Attrite Shoe Condition and MASC: Moderate Attrite Shoe Condition, respectively) and the other pair had no wear (NASC: No Attrite Shoe Condition). Impact acceleration at the subtalar at heel strike, rearfoot angles (the subtalar joint and the lower leg) during stance phase, and oxygen uptake (VO2) were measured throughout the 60-minute walk. At the 10th minute of walking, worn-out shoes increased the supination of the subtalar joint and extortion of the lower leg. In addition, VO2 was significant larger in EASC (808.3 ml x min(-1)) than in NASC (749.5 ml x min(-1)). During the 60-minute walk, however, there were no time effects of shoe condition on the rearfoot angles and on VO2. In contrast, impact acceleration at the subtalar joint in EASC remained almost constant until the 30th minute of walking, and then began to elevate. In conclusion, worn-out shoes increased the energy cost and reduced lower leg stability during walking, although these changes were not influenced by walking duration within 60 minutes. However, prolonged walking showed the potential negative effect of worn-out shoe on shock absorption.
  • We established a method to evaluate postural control adaptability, applying it to 341 subjects, aged 18-29 years (young subjects) and 50-79 years, in order to investigate the influences of age and gender on adaptability. Subjects stood with eyes closed on a force plate fixed to a floor oscillator, which was sinusoidally oscillated in the anteroposterior direction with 0.5 Hz frequency and 2.5 cm amplitude. Five trials of 1-minute oscillation were conducted, with a short rest between trials. The mean speed of fluctuation of the center of foot pressure (CFP), as detected by the force plate, was calculated as an index of postural steadiness. Mean CFP speed decreased significantly in all age groups with trial repetition. The adaptability capability of elderly subjects was categorized as "good," "moderate," or "poor," as evaluated against a standard value, based on the variation of the regression of mean CFP speed between the 1st and 5th trials in young subjects. Results showed that the magnitude of reduction in the mean speed, with practice, was linearly related to the initial mean speed. We found a general decline in adaptability, and increase in initial mean speed, in subjects aged 60 years and older, with no gender difference detected in any age group. The proportion of subjects exhibiting moderate and poor adaptability increased gradually with age. In conclusion, age, but not gender, appears to affect adaptation of postural sway with short-term practice, although some elderly subjects maintain postural sway velocity and adaptability capabilities similar to those of young subjects.
  • The purpose of this study was to determine the metabolic equivalents (METs) for scooter exercise (riding a scooter, scootering) and to examine the energy expenditure and the heart rate response, so that the results can be used in health promotion activities. Eighteen young adults (10 males and 8 females) participated in scootering on a treadmill at three different speeds for six minutes each. Before, during, and after the exercise, pulmonary ventilation, oxygen uptake (VO(2)), carbon dioxide product, respiratory exchange ratio (R), and heart rate (HR) were measured. These measurements kept steady states from the 3rd to 6th minute of each different speed session. The MET values acquired during scootering at 80 m.min(-1), 110 m.min(-1), and 140 m.min(-1) were 3.9, 4.3, and 5.0, respectively. Calculated using VO(2) (ml.kg(-1).min(-1))x[4.0+R], the energy consumption for scootering at each speed was 67.0+/-10.6, 73.3+/-10.2, and 84.8+/-7.9 cal.kg(-1).min(-1), respectively. The regression equation between scootering speed (X, m.min(-1)) and VO(2) (Y, ml.kg(-1).min(-1)) is Y=0.062X+8.655, and the regression equation between HR (X, beats.min(-1)) and VO(2)reserve (Y, %) is Y=0.458X-11.264. These equations can be applied to both females and males. Thus, scootering at 80 to 140 m.min(-1) might not be sufficient to improve the cardiorespiratory fitness of young male adults similar to the participants, but it may contribute many healthy benefits to most female adults and even male adults, and improve their health and fitness at the faster speeds.
  • Hand surface area (HSA) has been utilized for burned skin area estimation in burn therapy, heat exchange in thermal physiology, exposure assessment in occupational toxicology, and the development of manual equipment/ protective gloves in ergonomics. The purpose of this study was to determine the hand surface area to the total body surface area (BSA) and derive a formula for estimating HSA. Thirty-four Korean males (20-60 years old; 158.5-187.5 cm in height; 48.5-103.1 kg in body weight) and thirty-one Korean females (20-63 years old; 140.6-173.1 cm; 36.8-106.1 kg) participated as subjects. The HSA and BSA of 65 subjects were directly measured using alginate. The measurements showed 1) the surface area of the hand had a mean of 448 (371-540) cm(2) for males, and 392 (297-482) cm(2) for females. 2) The hand as a percentage of the total body surface area for males and females was 2.5% and 2.4% respectively, showing no significant difference. 3) The hand as a percentage of BSA by body shape was 2.5% for the lean group and 2.3% for overweight people (p=0.001). 4) When estimating the surface area of a hand, formulae based on hand length or hand circumference were more valid than formulae based on height and body weight. We obtained the following formula for estimating HSA: Estimated HSA(cm(2))=1.219 Hand length(cm) x Hand circumference(cm).
  • The present study investigated whether room temperature (T(a)) cycles around dusk and dawn could influence the circadian rhythm of rectal temperature (T(core)), urinary 6-hydroxymelatonin sulfate during nocturnal sleep, and subjective assessments of sleep in humans. Six female and two male students served as participants. Two different T(a) conditions, cyclic and constant, were established. Two kinds of room temperature were provided to subjects: cyclic T(a) (gradual decrease from 27 degrees C to 24 degrees C between 1800 and 2200 h and gradual increase from 24 degrees C to 27 degrees C between 0300 and 0700 h) and constant T(a) (27 degrees C over 24 h). At cyclic T(a), the circadian nadir of T(core) rhythm was significantly advanced, while T(core) was significantly lower from 2300 to 0200 h and significantly higher from 0600 to 1000 h. The nocturnal concentration of 6-hydroxymelatonin sulfate in the urine during sleep was significantly higher during cyclic T(a). Waking sensation just after rising was significantly better with cyclic T(a). (Skin temperatures in the extremities-T(a)) were significantly higher with cyclic T(a) especially during the evening and night. Our results suggest that gradual change of room temperature in the evening and early morning is important in terms of sleep promotion and fresh awakening. It seems probable that mankind has been evolved to have deeper sleep under the influence of cyclic T(a) around dusk and dawn.
  • To examine the disease state of cold constitution, physiological measurements of the foot were conducted by investigating thermal sensations under an environmental condition of 25 degrees C-26 degrees C (neutral temperature) in 29 young women with and without cold constitution. The subjects were classified into 3 groups according to their experiences with cold constitution: cold constitution, intermediate, and normal groups. Foot skin temperature was measured by thermography. Thermal sensations were measured on the dorsum of the left foot using a thermal stimulator. Cold and warm spots on the dorsum of the right foot were ascertained. Thermal stimulation was delivered by a copper probe. No significant differences in foot skin temperature among these 3 groups were identified as measured in a laboratory under neutral temperature conditions. However, the mean warm sensation threshold was +6.3+/-1.09 degrees C (mean+/-SEM) for the cold constitution group (n=14), +3.4+/-2.10 degrees C (mean+/-SEM) for the intermediate group (n=7), and -0.25+/-1.96 degrees C (mean+/-SEM) for the normal group (n=6). The difference was significant between the cold constitution and normal groups. No significant differences among the 3 groups were found in the cold sensation threshold. This may be attributable to the distribution of thermal receptors and to chronically reduced blood flow in subcutaneous tissues, where the skin temperature receptors responsible for temperature sensation are located.
  • Modern manufacturing and design should satisfy not only the requirements of high cost performance but also of the user. Besides that, the social environment which surrounds manufacturing is rapidly changing depending on new technologies. To create future products with user satisfaction, the effective use of human physiological data is essential. This is where knowledge of physiological anthropology can be applied. Physiological anthropologists have been pointing out a limit to the interpretation of the physiological data based on its average value. They have begun to notice that the physiological functions of humans show various types according to the blended effect of heredity and the surroundings. Adequate consideration of physiological polymorphism is indispensable to accomplish manufacturing that is well devised for human. In this study the concept of manufacturing and design based on physiological polymorphism is expressed. The target and the methodology for new manufacturing are discussed in seven fields, that is, welfare equipment, clothes, artificial tissue, sporting gear, furniture, building materials, and human interface. Through the above discussion, a procedure to achieve manufacturing and design based on physiological polymorphism is proposed.

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