In 1999, the Ministry of Health, Labor and welfare produced "A Guide to Zero Body Restraint (shintai kousoku zero he no tebiki)". The Guide indicates that beds should not be surrounded by bed-fences (side-rails) that might prevent patients from getting out of bed unassisted. However, until then, side-rails had been used to maintain the comfort and safety of patients. Side-supports utilize safety catches for users on the beds. The present research was conducted to examine any potential psychological influence resulting from differences in adjunctive bed implements. Methods: A total of 31 undergraduate students from University "A" participated after providing informed consent. Two beds were prepared and side-supports were installed in one bed, and side-rails in the other. Subjects lay on a bed for 50 minutes. The Semantic Differential method was used to estimate feelings associated with use of the bed, and involved subjects completing a 15-item questionnaire. The method was then repeated for the other bed. Differences in responses between the groups were compared using the Wilcoxon matched pairs signed ranks test. Results: In the evaluation using the Semantic Differential method, difference in psychological response to side-supports and side-rails was found. Significant differences were observed for 11 of the 15 questionnaire items. The environment with the bed attached side-support displayed a more positive image than that of the side-rails bed Conclusion: A clear difference in the influence of environments was identified. Problems with bed conditions should be addressed immediately.
The age-related decreases in physical fitness observed in previous studies cannot be completely explained by differences in body mass index (BMI). Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between age and selected physical fitness items in low-, middle-, and high-BMI groups. We recruited 439 older adult women, aged 6079 years, living independently in communities. The subjects completed 8 physical fitness tests related to activity of daily living (ADL), and were categorized into three groups using percentile rank of BMI: (a) low BMI (<21.4, n = 90), (b) middle BMI (23.126.7, n = 87), (c) high BMI (≥26.7, n = 87). BMI was calculated as body weight in kg divided by the squared height (kg/m2). The eight physical fitness tests (total physical fitness) were summarized as three domains: whole body locomotion, upper limb strength, and change of posture. To determine cross-sectional changes in physical fitness with increasing age, Pearson's correlation coefficient was calculated, and linear regression analysis was performed with physical fitness domain as the independent variable (y) and age as the dependent variable (x). Then differences in the regression coefficient and intercept between the entire group and three BMI groups were compared. Physical fitness domains were compared among the three groups with one-way ANOVA. The major findings were the following: (1) upper limb strength was lower in the low-BMI group; (2) total physical fitness, whole body locomotion, and the changes of posture were lower in the high-BMI group; (3) three physical domains and total physical fitness declined with age in all groups; and, (4) the declines in total physical fitness and the change of posture were higher in the low-BMI group, and the declines in the same domains were lower in the middle- and high-BMI groups. Due to the nature of cross-sectional analysis, it is observed that decreases in physical fitness are associated with its initial level. These results suggest that low BMI, high BMI and advancing age are associated with decreases in physical fitness among older women, and thereby impacting the ability to perform ADL.
To evaluate bone health of rural aged farmers, we investigated the serum levels of low- and high-carboxylated osteocalcins (Glu-OC and Gla-OC, respectively) and the urinary excretion of minerals, Ca, P, and Mg. Subjects were healthy aged farmers including 26 males and 18 females (7086 y). Both males and females were divided into three groups according to the serum Glu-OC levels. In the male subjects, the serum level of Gla-OC in the low Glu-OC group was significantly higher than those of the other groups (p<0.05). On the contrary, the serum Gla-OC level in the low Glu-OC group was significantly lower than those of the other groups in the female subjects (p< 0.05). The serum Glu-OC/Gla-OC ratio, which was indicative of reduction of OC carboxylation, in the high Glu-OC group was significantly higher than those of the other groups in both genders, and the females generally showed the significantly higher ratios compared to the males. On the other hand, the urinary concentration of Ca in the high Glu-OC group was significantly higher than that of the low Glu-OC group in the males. The similar tendency was observed also in the females. These results suggest that the serum Glu-OC and Gla-OC levels are useful indicators of bone health in rural aged farmers. Furthermore, it can be concluded that aged males should be more attentive to their bone health, as are females who are considered to be at the higher risk of osteoporosis.