Message from President

Towards a vigorous society

Japan is rushing towards an aging society of unprecedented proportions in advance of the rest of the world. For this reason, the Japanese Government and the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare have been seriously considering the sustainability of the medical insurance, long-term care insurance, and pension systems, as the collapse of our social security system could occur if proper measures are not taken. Therefore, three major goals are identified.

The first goal is to attempt to reduce the increase in medical expenses by extending healthy life expectancy. Stroke, fractures caused by falls, and dementia are the main factors contributing to shortened life healthy expectancy. The common factor in the prevention of these diseases is that “prevention by exercise is effective.”

The second goal is to maintain and enhance occupational health. Main barriers of good occupational health include low back pain and depression. For these diseases, it is also indicated that “prevention by exercise is effective,” according to various viewpoints.

Third, we need to ensure that the social environment is properly managed, and support the elderly in being physically active so that they can continue to work as long as desired. Functional decline due to aging progresses steadily, but exercise can make this progression slower. It has been demonstrated scientifically that “functional decline due to aging can be effectively prevented by exercise” as a means of coping with aging among the elderly. Recently, studies suggesting that exercise can be effective for cancer prevention have also been published.

Given the above, we may wonder what type of exercise is most effective. As physical therapists, we are health professionals specialized in therapeutic exercise that utilizes exercise as a treatment. We believe that understanding each person’s physical condition is a prerequisite to maximizing the effect of exercise. In daily practice, we evaluate a number of clinical factors such as cardiorespiratory function, joint movement, muscle strength, pain, and balance. By identifying issues related to those factors, we decide which type of exercise will be most effective for the individual.

For example, it is known that people with stiff ankle joints are more likely to fall over.” Physical therapists can examine the stiffness of the ankle joints and conduct therapeutic exercises to improve movement of the ankle joints. Simply engaging in physical activity would never be enough to obtain a clinical result. Instead, physical therapists are trained to plan and provide instruction on suitable exercises for each individual.

As physical therapists, we will support the efforts of each Japanese citizen to create a vigorous society, rather than allowing it to become a gloomy aged society. If you have any concern about your current and/or future condition, physical therapists would be happy to provide you with a solution. The Japanese Physical Therapy Association works towards a society where all Japanese citizens can move forward together.
Public Interest Incorporated Association  Japanese Physical Therapy Association  President Kazuto Handa

Public Interest Incorporated Association Japanese Physical Therapy Association President Kazuto Handa

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