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  • Article Biology Environmental Sciences General Medicine Life Sciences and Basic Medicine Social Medicine

    Relationship between physical education in the first year of university and exercise habits and physical and mental health in the following spring

    Takehira Nakao
    Takahiro Adachi
    Hiromasa Okumura
    Hidetsugu Nishizono
    Iwao Hara
    Haruhiko Yasukouchi
    Hiromi Muratani

    The present study examined the relationship between taking physical education and health-related courses in the first year of university and the acquisition and maintenance of exercise habits and physical and mental health in the student’s second year. The study population consisted of university students was 2,483 in FY2017 and 2,352 in FY2018. Of these, the 2,293 students (1,744 men, 18.5 ± 1.0 years old; 549 women, 18.6 ± 1.0 years old) who responded to the self-administered questionnaire survey on daily living habits in both years were included in the analysis. The results showed that taking physical education and health-related courses in the first year was significantly related to exercise habits the following spring. The results also suggested that these courses were more strongly related to mental health than physical health. In addition, men were significantly more likely to acquire a new exercise habit and had more improved mental health. In the future, it is necessary to clarify the causal relationship between taking physical education and health-related courses and exercise habits and the maintenance and acquisition of physical and mental health, in addition to developing effective support methods for students who dislike gender differences and exercise.

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  • Article Electrical and Electronic Engineering Interdisciplinary Sciences

    Heart Rate Variability Indices May Change Accompanying Cognitive Skills Improvement in eSports Tasks

    Kazuki Hisatsune
    Toshihide Otsuki
    Goichi Hagiwara
    Hirohisa Isogai
    Toshitaka Yamakawa

    Electronic sports (eSports) is becoming an increasingly popular subject of research with progress in the video game industry. However, the relationship between eSports and cognitive skills and heart rate variability (HRV) indices is not fully understood. Therefore, in this study, we analyzed changes in HRV indices in 20 healthy adult men while playing eSports and evaluated improvement in their cognitive skills before and after playing eSports using the Stroop test. The subjects were divided into two groups: 10 subjects who were trained in eSports for at least 1 hour a day, 5 days a week for 6 weeks, and 10 subjects who were not trained. The results indicated that subjects in the training group tended to have improved cognitive skills. In addition, in the group that temporarily improved their cognitive skills by playing eSports, similar changes were observed in HRV indices during eSports play, suggesting a parasympathetic nervous system dominance. Thus, it is suggested that the observed HRV changes were accompanied by the temporary improvement in cognitive skills induced by eSports tasks.

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  • Article Electrical and Electronic Engineering Interdisciplinary Sciences

    Real-Time Physiological Monitoring for Management of Normobaric Hypoxic Training Toward Wearable System Implementation

    Kazuki Hisatsune
    Toshitaka Yamakawa

    As a method to prevent lifestyle diseases, normobaric hypoxic training has been attracting attention. However, its exercise load and safety in non-athletes remain unclear. In this study, 20 healthy university students underwent a 15-min exercise test in a normobaric hypoxic room set at two different oxygen concentrations (O2: 20% and 16%), and the exercise load and safety were evaluated. The test comprised walking within the upper and lower limits of the heart rate (HR) calculated via the Karvonen method. The results showed that in case of 16% O2, the same energy was consumed despite significantly lower walking speed and distance than those in case of 20% O2. Therefore, it is suggested that the Karvonen method is effective in setting the load for hypoxic training. In addition, real-time monitoring of arterial oxygen saturation (SpO2) could be used to evaluate the safety of hypoxic training. Based on these results, we have developed a wearable pulse oximeter that can measure both HR and SpO2 from the earlobe and a dedicated smartphone application for analysis. If these can be practically applied, hypoxic training can be conducted safely that will contribute to the prevention of lifestyle diseases and the consequent extension of healthy life expectancy.

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