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Koichiro Oka and Ai Shibata

Background:

There are no previous data on factors at multiple levels associated with the stages of change for dog walking. The current study examined psychosocial and environmental correlates of the stages of change for dog walking among Japanese dog owners.

Methods:

Dog owners (N = 1940) completed a self-administered questionnaire that included items about demographics as well as psychosocial (dog attachment, dog obligation, normative belief, social norm, social support, self-efficacy) and environmental (access to areas, neighborhood safety, enjoyable scenery, frequently observing others dog walking, area where dogs are allowed to be off the lead) factors. MANOVA and discriminant functional analysis were used.

Results:

The distribution of the dog owners across the stages was as follows: precontemplation (14.7%), contemplation (7.6%), preparation (39.7%), action (2.8%), and maintenance (35.2%). Although differences among the stages were found for all factors in MANOVA, the pattern of distinction among stages differed depending on the factors. Dog obligation and self-efficacy were the best predictors of the stages of change for dog walking.

Conclusions:

Although psychosocial and environmental correlates differed with the stages, psychosocial factors such as the sense of obligation and self-efficacy in dog walking seem to make relatively stronger contributions to distinctions among the stages.

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Koichiro Oka and Ai Shibata

Background:

Dog ownership appears to have associated health benefits as a result of increased physical activity through dog walking. This study examined the association between dog ownership and health-related physical activity among Japanese adults.

Methods:

Male and female respondents to an Internet-based cross-sectional survey were divided into the following groups: dog owner (DOG), nondog pet owner (NDOG), and nonpet owner (NPOG). Moderate and vigorous physical activity amount (MVPA), walking amount (Walking), and sedentary behavior time (SB) were estimated from the International Physical Activity Questionnaire. Analyses of covariance and logistic regression analysis were used.

Results:

The differences in MVPA, Walking, and SB were statistically significant among the three groups. DOG had a significantly greater amount of MVPA than NDOG and NPOG. DOG also had a significantly greater amount of Walking and less SB time than NPOG, and DOG was 1.5 times more likely to meet the physical activity recommendation than NDOG and NPOG.

Conclusions:

The dog owners had higher physical activity levels than owners of other kinds of pets and those without any pets, suggesting that dogs may play a major role in promoting physical activity. However, only 30% of the dog owners met the recommended criteria for physical activity.

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Koichiro Oka and Ai Shibata

Background:

Exploring the detailed pattern and correlates of dog walking is crucial to designing effective interventions to increase the proportion of dog walkers. The current study examined the prevalence and pattern of dog walking, the association between dog walking and health-related physical activity, and the correlates of dog walking among dog owners in Japan.

Methods:

Japanese dog owners’ (n = 930) responses to an Internet-based cross-sectional survey were analyzed. A self-reported measure of physical activity, dog walking characteristics, and sociodemographic and dog-specific variables were obtained. Analyses of covariance and multivariate logistic regressions were used.

Results:

Overall, 64.4% of the surveyed dog owners walked their dogs. On an average, they walked their dogs 214.1 ± 189.5 minutes per week. The dog walkers were 3.47 times more likely to meet physical activity recommendations, were significantly less likely to be unmarried (OR = 0.61), and had higher levels of attachment with their dogs (OR = 2.32) than the nondog walkers.

Conclusion:

The findings confirmed that dog walking significantly helps dog owners meet physical activity recommendations for health and revealed that dog-specific factors such as dog attachment might be stronger correlates of dog walking than sociodemographic factors.

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Kaori Ishii, Ai Shibata and Koichiro Oka

Background:

Although physical activity is associated with a lower risk of colon cancer, few studies have described the physical activity required for colon cancer prevention in various sociodemographic subgroups. The current study examined the prevalence and sociodemographic correlates of attaining the 2 recommended physical activity criteria for colon cancer prevention among Japanese adults.

Methods:

The sample included 5322 Japanese adults aged 20 to 79 years. Seven sociodemographic attributes (eg, gender, age, education level, employment status) and the International Physical Activity Questionnaire were assessed via an Internet-based survey. The odds of meeting each physical activity criterion by sociodemographic variables were calculated.

Results:

Overall, 23.8% of the study population met the criterion of ≥ 420 minutes of moderate-intensity activity, and 6.4% met the criterion of ≥ 210 minutes of vigorous activity. Being male, highly educated, employed, living with another person, being married and having a higher household income were significantly correlated with the attainment of recommendations.

Conclusions:

Participants who met the 2 activity recommendations differed in gender, education level, employment status, marital status, living conditions, and household income. The findings of the current study imply that strategies to promote more intense physical activity in all demographic groups may be necessary.

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Kazuhiro Harada, Ai Shibata, Euna Lee, Koichiro Oka and Yoshio Nakamura

Background:

Although several studies have examined associations of perceived benefits and barriers with physical activity, no studies have focused on them corresponding to strength-training recommendations for older adults. This study examined the associations among the perceived health benefits of strength training, perceived barriers to strength straining, and stages of change for strength-training behavior in older Japanese adults.

Methods:

This cross-sectional survey included a random sample of 1144 adults (60–74 years) from the city of Tokorozawa. Stage of change was the independent variable, with perceived health benefits (eg, strength training can reduce body pain) and perceived barriers (eg, facilities are needed for strength training) as dependent variables. Data were analyzed by analysis of covariance and Bonferroni’s multiple comparison.

Results:

After adjusting for demographic variables, the perceived health-benefit score for precontemplation was significantly lower than for the other four stages. The perceived barrier scores in the precontemplation and contemplation stages were significantly higher than those in the preparation and maintenance stages.

Conclusions:

These results suggest that information about the health benefits for older adults and about the recommended type of strength training might be useful for the development of strategies to promote strength training among older adults.

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Kazuhiro Harada, Ai Shibata, Koichiro Oka and Yoshio Nakamura

This study aimed to examine the association of muscle-strengthening activity with knee and low back pain, falls, and health-related quality of life among Japanese older adults. A cross-sectional survey targeted 3,000 people. The response rate was 52% and 208 respondents did not meet the inclusion criteria. Therefore, 1,351 individuals were analyzed. Muscle-strengthening activity (exercise using equipment and body weight, lifestyle activities), knee and low back pain, falls over the past year, health-related quality of life (SF-8), and potential confounders were assessed. Individuals engaging in exercise using body weight and lifestyle activity (≥ 2 days/week) were more likely to have knee pain. Engaging in exercise using equipment and body weight was associated with higher scores of general health. These results indicate that exercise using equipment and body weight might have a positive effect on health-related quality of life, but muscle-strengthening activities are associated with knee pain in older people.

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Ai Shibata, Koichiro Oka, Yoshio Nakamura and Isao Muraoka

Background:

Although engaging in the recommended amount of physical activity provides disease-prevention benefits, few studies have examined the proportion and correlates of meeting the Japanese physical activity recommendation. This study investigated the prevalence and demographic correlates of attaining the recommended value on the Exercise and Physical Activity Reference for Health Promotion 2006.

Methods:

Data were analyzed for 5177 Japanese adults who took an Internet-based cross-sectional survey. The International Physical Activity Questionnaire and 6 possible demographic correlates were obtained. Respondents were divided into 3 groups—recommended, insufficient, and inactive—according to their estimated weekly physical activity level. A multivariate logistic regression analysis was used.

Results:

Overall, 26.6% of respondents were physically active according to the recommendation criterion. Gender, employment status, age, marital status, and educational level were statistically significant. In men, being employed and in women, being 30 to 39 years of age were negatively associated with the attainment of the recommendation. Being male, being a married woman, and having a college education or higher for women were positively correlated with the attainment of the recommendation.

Conclusions:

Different associations of demographic correlates with the physical activity recommendation for men and women were found, suggesting that gender-specific strategies for targeting the population or specific interventions might be more effective in promoting physical activity among Japanese adults.

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Kaori Ishii, Ai Shibata, Minoru Adachi, Yoshiyuki Mano and Koichiro Oka

Background:

Sedentary behaviors (SB) are associated with health indicators; however, there are currently very few studies that have examined these associations, especially in conjunction with psychological factors, in children. The current study examined the independent relationship between objectively assessed SB, and indicators of obesity and psychological well-being, among Japanese children.

Methods:

A total of 967 elementary-school children completed a cross-sectional survey. SB was measured with accelerometers for 7 consecutive days. Psychological well-being data (eg, anxiety and behavior problems) were collected via a self-report questionnaire. To determine the relationship of SB with degree of obesity and psychological well-being, linear regression analyses were conducted to relate the indicators of obesity and psychological well-being on SB, adjusted by gender, grade, percentage of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per day, duration spent wearing the accelerometer, and degree of obesity.

Results:

SB was significantly related to behavioral/emotional problems (β = .280, P = .010, R 2 = .015). There was a statistically significant relationship between SB and anxiety (β = .206, P = .059, R 2 = .007). No significant association with degree of obesity was found.

Conclusions:

Excess SB relates higher levels of behavioral/emotional problems and anxiety. These results can inspire the development of interventions that promote well-being and enhance psychological health, by focusing on SB in Japanese children.

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Kazuhiro Harada, Koichiro Oka, Ai Shibata, Kaori Ishii, Yoshio Nakamura, Shigeru Inoue and Teruichi Shimomitsu

The authors examined the relationship between strength-training behavior and perceived environment in older Japanese adults. An Internet-based survey was conducted of 293 adults age 68.2 ± 2.8 yr. The dependent variable was regular strength-training behavior. The IPAQ environment module, access to facilities for strength training, and home equipment for strength training were environmental factors. Logistic-regression analysis was employed. After demographic variables (gender, age, educational background, household income, body-mass index, self-rated health status, smoking habit, and residential area) were adjusted for, home equipment for strength training (OR = 2.14, 95% CI = 1.50–3.06), access to facilities for strength training (OR = 2.53, 95% CI = 1.32–4.85), and observing active people (OR = 2.20, 95% CI = 1.06–4.58) were positively correlated with regular strength-training behavior. In conclusion, environmental factors associated with strength-training behavior were access to facilities for strength training, having home equipment for strength training, and observing active people.

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Yung Liao, Takemi Sugiyama, Ai Shibata, Kaori Ishii, Shigeru Inoue, Mohammad Javad Koohsari, Neville Owen and Koichiro Oka

Background:

This study examined associations of perceived and objectively measured neighborhood environmental attributes with leisure-time sitting for transport among middle-to-older aged Japanese adults.

Method:

Data were collected using a postal survey of 998 adults aged 40 to 69 years. Generalized linear modeling with a gamma distribution and a log link was used to examine associations of perceived (International Physical Activity Questionnaire-Environmental module) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS)-derived built environment attributes with self-reported leisure-time sitting for transport.

Results:

Mean leisure-time sitting time for transport was 20.4 min/day. After adjusting for potential confounders, perceived higher residential density, GIS-measured higher population density, better access to destinations, better access to public transport, longer sidewalk length, and higher street connectivity, were associated significantly with lower sitting time for transport.

Conclusion:

Residents living in neighborhoods with attributes previously found to be associated with more walking tended to spend less time sitting for transport during leisure-time. The health benefits of walkability-related attributes may accrue not only through increased physical activity, but also through less sedentary time.