Dr. Takashi Arao is an expert in epidemiology and public health, particularly in disease prevention and health promotion through physical activity. He served as Director of Physical Fitness Research Institute in Meiji Yasuda Life Foundation of Health and Welfare since 1994 to 2005, and is Professor of School of Sport Sciences at Waseda University in Tokyo since 2005 to 2018. He currently serves as Academic Adviser at Physical Fitness Research Institute. Dr. Arao was the leader of many research projects for health promotion and disease prevention funded by the Japanese government. He has published over 50 scientific papers and has established collaborations with national and international experts in related fields of health promotion over the past decade. He has been active in many academic professional societies including Japanese Society of Public Health, Japanese Society of Health promotion and Education, Japanese Society of Exercise Epidemiology, Japanese Society of Physical Fitness and Sports Medicine, etc. He has also served as a committee member for development of Japanese health policy “Healthy Japan 21” in 1999-2000.
Questions & Answers
Personal counselling could be adapted for the community setting. Personal counselling combined with group work for exchanging ideas and experiences of implementing the program could be more effective. This program could be apply for any settings and anyone except for patients having the medical treatment.
The facilitator has an important role for implementing this program, because the success of the lifestyle modification depends on the participant’s positive attitude toward his/her health. Most of the people who have health problems tend to be powerless, because of having various problems including social and economic problems. Therefore, the most important role of the facilitator is to empower the participants through supportive communication and counseling.
The evaluation of a health promoting program should be done using two methods. One is the effectiveness of the program on the primary outcomes such as health behaviors or lifestyle and the secondary outcomes such as the results of the medical checkup. The other is the feasibility of the program assessed by the participation rate at the beginning, adherence to the program during intervention, and continuity of the activity after the end of the program.
I started a new research project for prevention of cognitive decline and dementia in community dwelling older adults. This project is composed of two research studies. One is a cohort study for identifying the risk factor(s) of daily life for cognitive decline and dementia using whole independently living older adults in community. The other study is a community intervention for preventing cognitive decline and dementia based on population strategy. This project started in 2015 and will continue for 5 years.