A specially designed mental task was performed by 16 subjects for frequency domain analysis of skin conductance (SC) to evaluate mental workload. The task was to memorize target letters, detect them within a 4×4 alphabet arrangement, and answer whether the number of targets contained in the arrangement corresponded to a randomly displayed number. As the number of target letters increased, the score for the card-sort NASA Task Load Index (CSTLX) and task performance increased significantly. The traditional parameter for the number of transient wave forms of SC response (SCR) and the height of its wave did not show any significant effect of task difficulty. In addition, SCRs were subjected to Fourier transformation and integration of the spectrum from 0.03 to 0.5 Hz. This frequency domain analysis enabled detection of small differences in mental workload that could not be detected by traditional amplitude domain analysis. Frequency-based analysis enables easy processing of physiological signals and is very effective in evaluating mental stress using SC recorded under actual environmental conditions such as the driving of a vehicle.
Recently, many cross-sectional studies observed that body mass index (BMI) and percentage of body fat (%BF) were inversely associated with pedometer-determined physical activities, but studies on Asian populations, including the Japanese, are sparse. Height, weight, body fat percentage (%BF, bioelectrical impedance analyzer), and waist circumference were measured on 117 women (62.8±4.5 years, 22.2±2.2 kg/m2) and 62 men (64.0±4.6 years, 23.6±2.5 kg/m2). Pearson correlations and partial correlation coefficients after controlling for age were calculated between steps/day and variables. Furthermore, participants were classified into four groups as follows: <5,000, 5,000–7,499, 7,500–9,999, and ≥10,000 steps/day, and analyzed using ANOVA across activity groups. In women, a significant correlation was found between steps/day and BMI (r=−0.217, p=0.018), %BF (r=−0.292, p=0.0014), and the relationship was still significant after controlling for age. The relationship between steps/day and waist circumference was not significant. In men, a significant relationship was not observed between steps/day and obesity indices. The correlations between steps/day and both BMI and %BF were significant in Japanese women, but weak compared with Caucasian and African–American women as reported previously. A possible cause is racial difference in degree of obesity and body shape. The effects of physical activity on body shape and composition may differ according to race.
The aim of this study was to investigate whether subcutaneous adipose tissue topography (SAT-Top) is different in female CHD patients (n=26) and healthy controls (n=36) matched to age, body size, weight, and BMI. The thicknesses of SAT layers were measured by LIPOMETER at 15 specified body sites. To calculate the power of the different body sites to discriminate between CHD women and healthy controls, receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis was performed. For each parameter, sensitivity and specificity were calculated at different cutoff points. CHD women showed a significant decrease to 78.36% (p=0.012) at body site 11-front thigh, 73.10% (p=0.012) at 12-lateral thigh, 72.20% (p=0.009) at 13-rear thigh, 66.43% (p<0.001) at 14-inner thigh, and 49.19% (p<0.001) at 15-calf. The best discriminators analysed by ROC curves between female CHD patients and healthy controls turned out to be calf and inner thigh (optimal cut off values: calf: 3.85 mm and inner thigh: 11.15 mm). Stepwise discriminant analysis identified the body sites calf, lateral chest, and inner thigh as significant. In conclusion, information was obtained on the extent to which SAT thickness at each measured body site is able to discriminate between the two subject groups. The good discrimination results obtained for the present dataset are encouraging enough to recommend applying LIPOMETER SAT-Top measurements in further studies to investigate individual risks for CHD.
We propose a novel indicator for smoothness of movement, i.e., the power spectrum entropy of the acceleration time-series, and compare it with conventional indices of smoothness. For this purpose, nineteen healthy adults (21.3±2.5 years old) performed the task of raising and lowering a beaker between the level of the umbilicus and eye level under the two following conditions: one with the beaker containing water and the other with the beaker containing a weight of the same mass as the water. Moving the beaker up and down when it contained water required extra control to prevent the water from being spilled. This means that movement was not as smooth as when the beaker contained a weight. Under these two conditions, entropy was measured along with a traditional indicator of smoothness of movement, the jerk index. The entropy could distinguish just as well as the jerk index (p<0.01) between when water was used and when the weight was used. The entropy correlated highly with the jerk index, with Spearman's ρ at 0.88 (p<0.01). These results showed that the entropy derived from the spectrum of the acceleration time-series during movement is useful as an indicator of the smoothness of that movement.
This study aimed to clarify the characteristics and the lateral dominance of hand grip power and elbow flexion power. The subjects were 15 healthy young males (mean age 22.1±0.7 yr, mean height 171.3±3.4 cm, mean mass 64.5±4.1 kg). All subjects were right-handed. Peak power was measured by both hands with 6 different loads of 20%–70% of maximum voluntary contraction. The maximum voluntary contraction of hand grip movement and elbow flexion movement was significantly larger in the dominant hand. Peak power of the dominant hand was larger in all loads in hand grip movement and in loads of 20% and 30% of maximum voluntary contraction in elbow flexion movement. In short, lateral dominance was confirmed. Peak power was significantly larger in hand grip movement than in elbow flexion movement in both hands. Peak velocity decreased with increasing loads in both movements, but peak power increased until about 50% of maximum voluntary contraction and then decreased. The peak power ratio of the dominant hand to the nondominant hand was significantly larger in hand grip movement than in elbow flexion movement in all loads and the peak power ratio in elbow flexion movement was more marked in light loads. In conclusion, both powers showed lateral dominance. Lateral dominance is more marked in hand grip power.
This study aimed to examine the relationships among various stepping parameters, sex, and age in the elderly. Healthy elderly Japanese individuals 60–85 years old (50 males and 61 females) performed 4 types of stepping motions for 20 s. Stepping motions included bilateral stepping (back/forth and right/left) and unilateral stepping (back/forth and right/left). The number of steps, the average connecting time of a foot during one step, and the average time of both feet touching the floor at the same time (bilateral connecting time) were measured with a foot switch sheet. The trial-to-trial reliability was very high (above 0.86) except for the bilateral connecting time in the bilateral stepping back/forth test for 70–85 year olds (males: 0.67, females: 0.68). With age, the number of steps was significantly smaller, and the average connecting time and the bilateral connecting time were shorter in all stepping tests. There were significant sex differences in bilateral connecting time for bilateral stepping right and left and the number of steps for the bilateral stepping back and forth and the unilateral stepping right and left tests. The number of steps and average connecting time showed high correlations between bilateral stepping right/left and back/forth (r=0.71–0.94) and between unilateral stepping back/forth and right/left (r=0.87–0.99). There were significant correlations of the average connecting time between bilateral and unilateral stepping motions (r=0.51–0.83), but both stepping motions are considered to have different motion properties from the viewpoint of center of gravity sway. The correlations between the bilateral connecting time and the number of steps in bilateral stepping were relatively low (males: ∣r∣<0.70, females: ∣r∣<0.57). The bilateral connecting time was near 0 s in many males; thus, it may depend greatly on individual or sex differences in stepping strategy. These results suggest that the stepping motions used in this study can evaluate dynamic balance ability, and that the unilateral test may be useful for the elderly who cannot walk independently with ease.