[Longitudinal change in awareness levels of Japanese exercise guidelines and physical activity].

Kazuhiro Harada*, A. Shibata, Euna Lee, Koichiro Oka, Yoshio Nakamura

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


According to the interim report "National Health Promotion in the 21st Century (Healthy Japan 21)", the Exercise and Physical Activity Guide for Health Promotion 2006 (EPAGH2006) is an im-portant resource in the field of physical activity in Japan. A previous study (Higo & Nakamura, 2008) showed that although the awareness level of EPAGH2006 was lower than for other health pro-motion policies (e.g., Healthy Japan 21), the proportion of people who walked regularly was higher in the EPAGH2006 awareness group than in the no-awareness group. This result indicates that pro-motion of EPAGH2006 would contribute to increase in the number of physically active people. The purpose of the present study was to identify longitudinal change in awareness of EPAGH2006, and to examine the relationship with levels of physical activity. The subjects were 1,100 Japanese adults (mean [SD], 39.8 [10.1 years) recruited from among the registrants of a Japanese social research company. This longitudinal study was conducted using online questionnaires in surveys in November 2007 (T1) and December 2008 (T2). The awareness level of EPAGH2006 was assessed with 3 choices, i.e., good understanding, awareness and no-awareness. The International Physical Activity Questionnaire short Version (Craig et al., 2003; Murase et al., 2002) was used to estimate the amount of physical activity that the subjects engaged in. The Mann-Whitney test was utilized to assess inter-group differences in changes in the amount of physical activity between the understanding and no-awareness groups. The proportion of those who fully understood EPAGH2006 was 1.4% at T1 and 2.2%0 at T2 and did not significantly increase. The physical activity level in the understanding group at T2 was significantly decreased compared with the no-awareness groups at both T1 and T2 (p=0.013). The lack of increase in the awareness level between the two time points suggests that dissemination of EPAGH2006 has not been effective. A more strategic approach would appear to be required. However, the results also did not indicate that the awareness level of EPAGH2006 had a positive in-fluence on physical activity. Further studies, conducted when the awareness levels improve, may elucidate the relationship between the levels of EPAGH2006 awareness and physical activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-198
Number of pages9
Journal[Nippon kōshū eisei zasshi] Japanese journal of public health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Mar 1
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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