Based on a questionnaire survey carried out in July 1996, this study aims to evaluate the effects of barefoot education of schoolchildren in elementary schools, with respect to behaviourmodification concerning safety and healthy lifestyle. The subjects were 571 schoolchildren, 420from a school which conducted barefoot education for seven months from April to October and151 from a school which did not. The 420 children in the former were divided into one group(N=289, 76.1%) who were always barefooted and another (N=91, 23.9%) who were not. The major findings were as follows. 1. The comparison between the two schoolchildren groups revealed that the barefoot educationgroup developed more safety and health behaviour such as avoidance against hazardous objects on the schoolyard and in the classroom, hand-washing, and cleaning of gymnastic wear. 2. Within the schoolchildren in the barefoot education school, the?galways berefooted" grouppaid more attention to hazardous objects and did hand-washing more frequently, though significantly different items between the two groups were fewer than those in the between-schoolcomparison. This study suggests advantageous effects of barefoot education on development of safety and healty behaviour in schoolchildren.
To contribute to clothing design suited to the elderly, this study examined physical functionsrelated to dressing and undressing abilities, and the effects of differently designed clothes on posture and body movement, comparing among younger, middle and older age groups . The major findings were as follows. 1. According to measurements for 410 healthy subjects of the three age groups, grip strength, vital capacity, tapping ability, forward flexion, and body movement capability declined with age, resulting difficulty of dressing/undressing among the elderly. It is also suggested that burden of clothes such as their weight are stressful for hypertensive elderly . 2. Comparative observation of accessible areas of the right index finger and range of visibility for five younger and five older female subjects disclosed that the lateral rear and forward rear rotation flexibilities of the shoulder area affected mostly the older-age subjects to ress/undress clothes. In this connection, back-open or shoulder-open-type shirts were more easily manipulated by the elderly than front-open-type shirts. 3. For 21 subjehts, aged 46 to 81, time of fastening and unfastening two types of buttons (1.2cm and 2.0 cm in diameter) were examined, together with tapping ability and grip strength . As the results of examination for the small button, the following equation was obtained: y=-0 .673x+29.949, in which y was time (seconds) for fastening four buttons and x was grip strength (kg) .For the elderly whose grip strength is weak, big-sized buttons are suitable . 4. Examination of speed of change in the center of gravity for five younger and five older subjects when they dressed and undressed seven different types of clothes revealed that those of separate top-and-bottom type and front-open type were easily manipulated by the latter group and that looseness of clothes was an important factor for their manipulation. Similarly, loose open-type socks were suited to the elderly. 5. To sum up, this study recommends to improve conditions which make it possible for anyindividuals, particularly the elderly, to utilize suitable clothes in accordance with their own physical abilities.
In order to grasp growth and developmental problems of school children in Japan, this study compared various indicators for physique, physical strength, and motor ability, which were measured in schools, among children in primary, junior high, and senior high schools in 10 prefectures. Children in Aomori, Akita, and Niigata prefectures were taller in body height than those in other prefectures and a trend toward obesity was manifest in children in Aomori since their body weight and Rohrer's index were the highest. These patterns were observed amongboth genders in any age for any birth cohorts, especially in later cohorts. The indictors of physical strength and motor ability, especially long-distance running, in children in Aomori were inferior to those of children in other prefectures, presumably reflecting their trend toward obesity. The maximum time of increase in body weight markedly lagged behind that in height in Aomori children, compared with those in other prefectures. Therefore, it is needed to monitor such measures as body fat for school children to prevent their obese body composition and inferior motor ability.
This study aimed to determine a range of adequate body fat percent from its relations with the change in hemodynamics when white noise was loaded as a stresser, taking special notices on the relationships between obesity and hemodynamics and between hemodynamics and stress. The 87 females subjects aged 18 to 24, students of a women's junior college, were divided into four groups according to body fat percent measured in this study: obesity group (≥ 30% body fat), borderline group (25-30%), adequate group (20-25%), and emaciation group (<20%). The results of the experiments about the effects of white noise stress on changes in blood flow rate, systolic blood pressure, and pulse rate among the four groups were summarized as follows. First, there were no inter-group differences in changes of systolic blood pressure and pulse rate. Second, the response time to the peak value in blood flow rate (which was defined as the time duration to the time of peak value after white noise was loaded) was the shortest in the obesity group and the longest in the borderline group. Third, the recovery time in blood flow rate (which was defined as the time duration from the response time to the time when the rate was recovered to the initial level) was the longest in the obesity group and the shortest in the borderline group. The latter two findings demonstrated that flexibility of hemodynamics to noise stress was low in the obesity group and high in the borderline group. It was also noted that there were no significant differences in any indicators between the borderline group and the adequate group. It is thus suggested that the adequate fat percent of young adult females (when the response time to the peak value in blood flow rate is treated as the determining factor) is 25-30%, that is higher than 20 - 25% as the previously reported adequate level.