Body height, arm span and mobility of thoraco-lumbar spine with a spinometer were measured for 1071 males and 1243 females selected from among the local residents of over 20 years of age. Upon reviewing the mutual relationships among the values of body height, arm span, body height, arm span ratio, and mobility of thoraco-lumbar spine, a study was conducted to see if body height arm span ratio as an index of body height shrinkage would serve for evaluation of senility. The results may be summarized as follows. 1. The values of mobility of thoraco-lumbar spine decreased with age. The angle at maximal flexion (AF) was shallow and the angle of erected posture (AEP, physiological lordosis) and the angle at maximal extension (AE) shifted forward. As the result, the range of maximal flexion (RF), the range of maximal extension (RE) and the range of total flexion-extension (RTFE) decreased. Among the values of mobility of thoraco-lumbar spine, RE showed the greatest rate of decrease due to aging. 2. According to the investigation of the relationships among the values of mobility of thoraco-lumbar spine, smaller values of AEP or physiological lordosis resulted in forward shifting of the area of total flexion-extension and in a decrease of RTFE. 3. As Dequeker et al. claimed, the body height and the arm span in the mature 20's were almost equal, the ratio being approximately 1.0. Moreover, the values in the literature measured over 20 years ago together with those in the present study were reviewed and it was found that the ratio body height/arm span was constant regardless of the difference in body height and era. This evidence provides scientific support for the theory of Dequeker et al. that the ratio is an index of the shrinkage of body height due to aging. 4. Although neither body height nor arm span showed any relationship with the values of mobility of thoraco-lumbar spine, the ratio body height arm span show correlationship with the values of mobility of thoraco-lumbar spine. Moreover, the relationship was evident in older subjects over 40 years of age while it was not so evident in younger subjects under 39 years of age, and thus there was a trend noted that the mobility of thoraco-lumbar spine becomes worse as the value of body height/ arm span decreases. This evidence indicates that the shrinkage of body height and the decrease of mobility of thoraco-lumbar spine progress simultaneously. Accordingly, the ratio body height/arm span and the mobility of thoraco-lumbar spine may be regarded as indices of senility of the morphology and function of lumbar spine.
A statistical study was made of the senility of those engaged in three different types of occupation by measuring their body height, arm span, body height/arm span ratio and mobility of thoraco-lumbar spine. The subjects of the study were 323 males and 305 females engaged in fishery (primary industry), 382 males and 731 females engaged in farming (primary industry), and 366 male and 207 female industrial workers (secondary and tertiary industries) . The results obtained were as follows. 1. The body height of males was greater than the national average in the fisherman and industrial worker groups but smaller in the farmer group. The shortening of body height due to aging after 40 was gradual in the fisherman group but remarkable in the farmer and industrial worker groups. The body height of females was smaller than the national average in all the three groups up to the age of 40, but after that age, it was greater than the average in the fisherman group and almost identical to it in the industrial worker and farmer groups. Arm span showed the same tendency as body height in both males and females. However, the reduction of arm span due to aging was less than half that of body height. The body height/arm span ratio which is considered as an index of the shortening of body height due to aging was alike among the three groups in both males and females up to the age of 40. At greater ages the ratio was maintained highest in the fisherman group, suggesting that the shortening of body height due to aging was smaller in the fisherman group than in the other occupation groups. 2. Various scores of mobility of thoraco-lumbar spine showed changes with age corresponding to their respective characteristics. Generally, there was a tendency that the scores were highest and the changes with age were smallest in the fisherman group. Difference by occupation was noted in the range of total flexion-extension and maximal extension ; particularly the range of maximal extention for both males and females was highest in the fisherman group, lowest in the farmer group and medium in the industrial worker group, indicating difference by occupation most remarkably. 3. No significant relationship was observed between the body height/arm span ratio as an index of the shortening of body height and the mobility of thoracolumbar spine in any of the three groups for either males or females under 40. However, a positive correlation was noticed at ages greater than 40. Although there was in each test item some difference between males and females, the correlation. ship at advanced ages was generally lowest in the fisherman group and highest in the farmer group. 4. In view of the above findings, the shortening of body height due to aging and the reduction of mobility of spine at advanced ages were smallest in the fisherman group, and it may well be said that the occurrence of senility in the fisherman group is more delayed than in the other occupation groups. The relation of the shortening of body height with the reduction of mobility of thoraco-lumbar spine, particularly of the range of maximal extension, was most remarkable in the farmer group, suggesting that premature senility in terms of mobility of spine occurs earliest in those engaged in farming. It is desired to take the sort of physical exercise that stresses the flexibility of the spine for a prevention against senility.
As well known, the adreno-sympathetic hormone - catecholamine - plays an important role in maintaining the stability of “milieu interieur”. Accordingly, a marked change may occur in catecholamine secretion in case of prolonged strenuous exercise such as marathon race where is required remarkable augmentation of cardiovascular functions. The authors had an opportunity of examining the physiological functions of all the participants in the First Tokyo International Women Marathon Race held on November 18, 1979, and collected urine samples from them before and after the race to evaluate the physiological load of the race in each woman participant by changes in urinary excretions of catecholamine metabolite (VMA) and some other substances. As for the subjects of examinations, 19 foreign runners were 31.1 years of age on the average (ranging from 20 to 48 years) and their average Rohrer's Index was 119.0, while 33 Japanese runners were 27.8 years of age on the average (ranging from 18 to 42 years) and their average Rohrer's Index was 125.8. The urine samples at rest were collected at 8 a.m. on the day before the race after more than 10 hours fasting, and the samples after running were collected in 30 minutes after finishing the race. Just after the collections, the authors made determinations of the urine volume and pH and qualitative tests for sugar, protein, occult blood, Keton bodies and bilirubin. Then the determinations of VMA were made by Pisano's method. The resulte obtained were compared among six groups classified by the performance, viz., the order of the arrival. The classification was made as follows : 1) 1-5, 2) 6-10, 3) 11-15, 4) 16-20, 5) 21-25 and 6) 26-46. The comparison was also made between the foreigners and the Japanese. Results: Although there could be no significant correlation between the performance and the age or physique, the Rohrer's Index was smallest in Group 1) and largest in Group 6) . The qualitative urine tests disclosed no marked change due to the running but protein less than 300 mg/dl was detected in the urine after running in 31 out of 40 runners. This fact seems to suggest that their physiological loads were considerably heavy. The urine volume on the average showed a decrease from 41.5 ml/hr at rest to 16.3 ml/hr after running, viz., 60.7 % decrement. The decrement was 53.2 % in the foreigners while it was 65.3 % in the Japanese. The urine volume was rather larger in Groups 5) and 6) than in the others. The urine pH on the average showed a decrease from 6.4 at rest to 5.6 after running, viz., 12.5 % decrement, and the decrement was 6.9 % in the foreigners while it was 14.9 % in the Japanese. Regarding the relation between the performance and the urine pH, there could be noted a tendency, the upper the ranking of the group, the smaller the change in pH. The urinary excretion of VMA on the average of all the runners showed a striking increase from 155.8 mg/hr at rest to 383.1 mg/hr after the running. The increase due to running was 121.4 % in the foreigners while it was 144.1 % in the Japanese. Regarding the relation between the performance and the VMA excretion, Group 1) showed no increase in the excretion on the average, while the other groups generally showed 100 % - 200 % increase in the excretion. On the basis of the above-mentioned findings, it was presumed that the physiological load of the marathon race was heavier in the Japanese runners than in the foreign runners, and in the lower ranking groups than in the upper ranking groups of the performance. In other words, the foreigners who showed excellent performance seemed to be highly adapted to the prolonged strenuous exercise by training and to have a regulatory mechanism of metabolism so efficient as to cope with heavy physiological load by small increase in catecholamine secretion.
The first object of this study was to investigate the constituent factor of physical flexibility. The second purpose was to reconsider if the measures of physical flexibility which have been customarily used are valid, and choose those measures which have high validity. To investigate this the method of factor analysis was used. The following results were obtained: 1) It has been recognized that there are eight constituent factors (F1-F8) of physical flexibility. Of those factors, the first concerns the flexibility of the trunk. 2) To choose the measurement items, it is valid to choose those items which showed a high factor loading to each factor. In this study, seven items (trunk flexion, upperarm raising, sideward neck bending, instep flexion and extension, wrist pronation and supination) were chosen. 3) From the results written above, it can be seen that it is inappropriate and insufficient to measure only the flexibility of the trunk. But to simplify the measurement method, physical flexibility can be estimated by measuring trunk flexion and sidewards bending.