Lack of exercise impacts mental health in Japanese expats

November 12, 2018

A study of Japanese people living in Malaysia found that their exercise routines affected time spent sitting down and quality of life, including their mental health. This study was published in Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine on October 25, and the research group was led by Associate Professor Kazuhiro P. Izawa (Graduate School of Health Sciences, Kobe University) and Professor Koichiro Oka (Faculty of Sport Sciences, Waseda University).

Previous studies have shown that physical activity such as exercise and sports can prevent or help to cure various diseases, including obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and some cancers. On the other hand, spending long periods sitting down has been shown to have various negative health effects leading to obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

The number of Japanese people living overseas for periods of 3 months or longer is increasing year by year. Moving overseas can be a stressful experiences that disrupts health and exercise routines. This study aimed to shed light on the relationship between exercise, time spent sitting down and mental health (health-related quality of life) for Japanese expatriates. The survey focused on Japanese people living in Malaysia, a popular long-stay destination for Japanese citizens. Malaysia has one of the world's highest obesity levels, with increasing numbers of people suffering from high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels and diabetes.

The survey targeted 130 Japanese people over the age of 20 living in Ipoh, Perak in Malaysia. The team measured their exercise behavior, sitting behavior time, and health-related quality of life, as well as sociodemographic factors such as age, sex, and whether they were employed.

Based on a transtheoretical model of changes in exercise patterns, the survey participants were divided into three groups: non-exercise group (currently not exercising), preparation group (exercising but not regularly), and exercise group (exercising regularly). The time each participant spent sitting down every day and health-related quality of life (mental health aspects) were measured by a questionnaire filled in by participants. Out of the target 130 people there were 108 valid responses. These were statistically adjusted for sociodemographic factors such as age and sex. Compared to the preparation group, the exercise group spent on average 135 minutes less time sitting down every day, and their score for health-related quality of life was on average 5.5 points higher.

"These findings show that promoting exercise activities for Japanese people living abroad can be part of essential public health strategies to reduce sedentary time and improve quality of life" comments Associate Professor Izawa. "Building on this study, we would like to gather further information to develop strategies that promote health among Japanese people." The team now plans to investigate the differences between Japanese people living domestically and overseas.
-end-


Kobe University

Related Obesity Articles from Brightsurf:

11 years of data add to the evidence for using testosterone therapy to treat obesity, including as an alternative to obesity surgery
New research covering 11 years of data presented at this year's European and International Congress on Obesity (ECOICO 2020) show that, in obese men suffering from hypogonadism (low testosterone), treatment with testosterone injections lowers their weight and improves a wide range of other metabolic parameters.

Overlap between immunology of COVID-19 and obesity could explain the increased risk of death in people living with obesity, and also older patients
Data presented in a special COVID-19 session at the European and International Congress on Obesity (ECOICO 2020) suggests that there are overlaps between the immunological disturbances found in both COVID-19 disease and patients with obesity, which could explain the increased disease severity and mortality risk faced by obese patients, and also elderly patients, who are infected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 disease.

New obesity guideline: Address root causes as foundation of obesity management
besity management should focus on outcomes that patients consider to be important, not weight loss alone, and include a holistic approach that addresses the root causes of obesity, according to a new clinical practice guideline published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) http://www.cmaj.ca/lookup/doi/10.1503/cmaj.191707.

Changing the debate around obesity
The UK's National Health Service (NHS) needs to do more to address the ingrained stigma and discrimination faced by people with obesity, says a leading health psychologist.

Study links longer exposure to obesity and earlier development of obesity to increased risk of type 2 diabetes
Cumulative exposure to obesity could be at least as important as actually being obese in terms of risk of developing type 2 diabetes (T2D), concludes new research published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes [EASD]).

How much do obesity and addictions overlap?
A large analysis of personality studies has found that people with obesity behave somewhat like people with addictions to alcohol or drugs.

Should obesity be recognized as a disease?
With obesity now affecting almost a third (29%) of the population in England, and expected to rise to 35% by 2030, should we now recognize it as a disease?

Is obesity associated with risk of pediatric MS?
A single-center study of 453 children in Germany with multiple sclerosis (MS) investigated the association of obesity with pediatric MS risk and with the response of first-line therapy in children with MS.

Women with obesity prior to conception are more likely to have children with obesity
A systematic review and meta-analysis identified significantly increased odds of child obesity when mothers have obesity before conception, according to a study published June 11, 2019 in the open-access journal PLOS Medicine by Nicola Heslehurst of Newcastle University in the UK, and colleagues.

Obesity medicine association announces major updates to its adult obesity algorithm
The Obesity Medicine Association (OMA) announced the immediate availability of the 2019 OMA Adult Obesity Algorithm, with new information for clinicians including the relationship between Obesity and Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes Mellitus, Dyslipidemia, and Cancer; information on investigational Anti-Obesity Pharmacotherapy; treatments for Lipodystrophy; and Pharmacokinetics and Obesity.

Read More: Obesity News and Obesity Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.