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Toward the Realization of a Society which Ensures Well-being for All People

2013.03.31

Unit Name:
Public health promotion
Unit representative:
Professor Fumi Takeda, Faculty of Health and Sport Science

Unit members:
15 (9 faculty members, no postdoctoral fellows, 6 from other organizations)

Key words:
health promotion, care, community, school, workplace

URL:

 

Along with changes in the social structure caused by an aging population and a declining birthrate, increasing numbers of people, including children, pregnant women/child-raising mothers, workers, people with disabilities, and elderly people, are suffering from health-related problems and requiring care in Japan. These problems are caused by not only biological factors, but also psychosocial factors, such as stress and the socioeconomic environment; therefore, in addition to medical treatment and preventive medicine, psychosocial approaches are necessary to improve people’s awareness and behavior as well as governmental policies and support systems. Our research unit aims to verify psychosocial factors related to physical and mental health problems for all people and their care, and examine measures to promote health in communities, schools, and at workplaces, through cooperation across the interdisciplinary field of healthcare studies, such as the sociology of health, health and exercise science, public health, mental health, social welfare, and oral health (Figure 1).

Figure 1 : Public health promotion through interdisciplinary research

Figure 1 : Public health promotion through interdisciplinary research

Approaches to supporting health

Multiple perspectives are essential to support people’s health, such as individual factors environmental factors, support from health sectors (healthcare-related organizations) support from non-health sectors (organizations not related to healthcare), disease-causing factors (disease risk factors) health-promoting factors (stress-coping), and negative indices (diseases and disabilities) positive indices (a sense of satisfaction and well-being). Our unit aims to examine effective approaches by integrating research from different perspectives, and improve the health and performance of individuals and organizations (Figure 2).

Figure 2 :  Approaches to supporting health

Figure 2 : Approaches to supporting health

Focusing on caregivers’ stress

Japan faces a growing shortage of care workers who provide appropriate support for elderly people and people with disabilities to maintain their quality of life. On the other hand, stress and health problems in care workers have been highlighted, and so ensuring healthy working lives is essential to secure human resources. Although many studies have investigated the health status of care workers working in elderly nursing homes, few studies have investigated those working in care facilities for persons with disabilities. Our unit empirically examines the mental health of and psychosocial factors among care workers who support people with disabilities, and strives to promote a healthy lifestyle for both care workers and receivers (Figure 3).

Figure 3 : Healthcare support for care workers who provide care for people with disabilities

Figure 3 : Healthcare support for care workers who provide care for people with disabilities

Social contributions and achievements
● Lecture on “Factors and framework to promote a healthy workplace” conducted at Cuore C Cube. We disseminated our research findings on workers’ mental health in business settings.
● An open lecture on “Tips to brush up skills to achieve healthy living for children” conducted at Bunkyo School, Tokyo Campus of the University of Tsukuba. We reported study results regarding dental caries in children and the prevention of picky eating behaviors to dental hygienists, public health nurses, and nursing teachers who implement health education in communities and schools.

(Interviewed on July 10, 2013)


Research Administration/Management Office at U Tsukuba TEL 029-853-4434