Lifestyle changes under COVID-19

The company Link and Communication, who make an AI health advisor mobile app called Calomama, surveyed their users about mental and physical health changes since the State of Emergency was declared.

I’m working from home, and my walking distance has been reduced from an average of 10,000 steps to about 500 or so. However, it’s been great for my stress levels, even though I find myself doing much more overtime than I did in the office. Due to the wonders of modern technology, I can log into my beefy work PC and do 95% of what I need to do.

Even better, the company has extended work at home for the forseeable future; the target is less than 50% per team commuting, but I think our team is under 10% right now.

Here’s a random Japan home office that is much more exiting than mine:

Office; May 2006

Rates dropping, but majority of smokers don’t plan to quit

Japan has always been a smokers’ paradise, although things are slowly changing. This survey from DIMSDRIVE Research revealed a number of interesting facts about smoking in Japan.

Most restaurants in department stores are now all non-smoking, and most of the major chain restaurants are decreasing or even eliminating smoking spaces, although even when there is a separate smoking area, often just one person can soon stink out the whole place out.

Conversely, unless it is a healthy-themed restaurant, privately-owned cafes and restaurants are most likely to be smoking OK. Things are changing for the Olympics but quite half-heartedly. As can be seen in Q1, almost three in four people over seventy are current or ex-smokers, and there are a whole lot of politicians in that age group, so they don’t really seem to care about rocking the boat.

Note that due to excessive advertising from Japan Tobacco, public perception of the largest smoking problem has been twisted to mean accidentally poking kids with cigarettes as illustrated by this advert:

smoking puts kids eyes out

Majority of Japanese kids have dinner without father

The free infant care magazine miku recently published a survey titled preventing second-hand smoke, although most of the survey was actually about mealtimes.

This summer I’d be in the “other” category for breakfast. I’m usually toast in winter, cereal in summer, but this year I’m on energy bars.

Here’s a typical traditional Japanese breakfast, although this typical of what is served at traditional inns; I don’t know how many of the 40% who eat rice-centric breakfasts actually eat something as grand as this:

手作りの豆腐や, 天日干しの網代干物, 定番の温泉卵, 朝食, リーズナブル 舟盛プラン, 磯の宿 まきた, 磯の宿, 熱海温泉, 熱海, 日本, Breakfast, Atami, Japan

One in four want all smoking areas done away with

Men, how often do you smoke tobacco? graph of japanese statisticsA recent survey conducted by Hoken (Insurance) Clinic, timed for World No-Smoking Day, looked at smoking and non-smoking.


Between the 28th and 30th of April 2015 500 people between the ages of 20 and 60 completed a web-based questionnaire. No further demographic information was provided.

I don’t know how good the sample selection was, but although the smoker percentage looks similar to other figures I have seen, the ex-smoker figure seems very, very high.

With talk of banning smoking throughout Tokyo for the 2020 Olympics, looking at the figures here would suggest that there might only be the will to ban for the duration of the Olympics, not permanently.

Dodgy health techniques

goo Ranking looked at what healthy living methods do Japanese feel doubtful about the effectiveness of.


goo Rankings asked iBRIDGE’s Research Plus to conduct this survey, where between the 16th and 20th of January 2015 500 members, 50:50 male and female, of their monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. No further demographics were given.

I don’t know what that number 4 is all about, and I certainly don’t want to find out, although I suspect it might be related to kombucha:

Kombucha SCOBY

Coping with the Japanese summer

What effect does drinking cold drinks have on your body? graph of japanese statisticsRakuten Research recently looked at summer heat countermeasures.


Over the 14th and 15th of June 2013 500 members of the Rakuten Research monitor panel completed a private internet-based questionnaire. The sample was 50:50 male and female, and the ages of both sexes were 50:50 twenties and thirties.

I am under the impression that sweating is a good way to if not cool off, at least feel better, so having hot drinks (when inside) or something spicy must be a good way to counteract the heat. As I’ve said at least twice before (perhaps I should try to get an affiliate account to make some money off this?), I’ve also started wearing AIRism from Uniqlo, and it quite nicely prevents the horrible sticky, sweaty back feeling I normally get wearing just a shirt.

Online doctor appointments in Japan

Have you ever used a hospital online reservation system? graph of japanese statisticsA number of clinics these days offer services for making reservations online, a service I have availed myself of once or twice.


Between the 14th and 17th of November 2011 1,081 members of the goo Research monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 52.5% of the sample were male, 16.4% in their teens, 18.5% in their twenties, 21.7% in their thirties, 15.8% in their forties, 15.9% in their fifties, and 11.7% aged sixty or older.

With ordinary clinics, the way reservations work is rather than reserving a time, one reserves a place in the queue, and the system will email you back once you get close to the head of the queue, so one can minimise the sitting around in the waiting room time. I’m surprised my regular skin clinic hasn’t adopted it, as they have a manual system which on weekends means that phoning in at about 9 am means one might get seen by 6 pm on a good day.

Comprehensive medical examinations in Japan

How did you feel overall about your Ningen Dock? graph of japanese statisticsgoo Research recently reported in detail on comprehensive medical examinations, or as they are known in Japanese 人間ドック, Ningen (Human) Dock, a play on “dry dock”.


Between the 29th of August and the 1st of September 2011 1,083 members of the goo Research monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 50.2% of the sample were male, 24.1% in their thirties, 25.5% in their forties, 25.4% in their fifties, and 25.0% aged sixty or older.

Furthermore, there was a new term to me, “Ladies’ Dock”, which as you might guess is a Ningen Dock tailored towards women. The time my wife and I went for a Ningen Dock, she had the ladies’ course, but it wasn’t sold as female oriented. If I remember correctly, there was a base test for everyone, then you could buy add-on packages on top, like lady bits, allergy tests, chest CT scan, etc.

Ex-smokers outnumber smokers in Japan

Do you want to quit smoking? graph of japanese statisticsgoo Research recently released the results of a survey into smoking and health, a survey that was conducted last December.


Between the 10th and 13th of December 2010 2,152 members of the goo Research monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 50.3% of the sample were male, 19.6% in their twenties, 19.9% in their thirties, 20.0% in their forties, 20.0% in their fifties, and 20.4% aged sixty or older.

About the only good news to come from the recent disaster is that many tobacco growers and factories have been knocked out, so a good number of brands are no longer available, and others are on short supply; indeed today I noticed in a convenience store that although the signs requesting people limit themselves to purchasing two bottles of water had disappeared, there was now a sign for only one packet of cigarettes per person.

Breast cancer in Japan

How do feel about having had a mammography? graph of japanese statisticsA most interesting recent survey from goo Research was a 30,000 woman breast cancer survey, the sixth time they have carried this out.


Between the 10th and 14th of September 2010 32,830 women made up from members of the goo Research monitor panel and ordinary users of goo web services completed an internet-based questionnaire. 1.5% of the sample were in their teens, 5.3% between 20 and 24 years old, 11.7% between 25 and 29, 18.0% between 30 and 34, 20.0% between 35 and 29, 15.8% between 40 and 44, 12.5% between 45 and 49, 7.4% between 50 and 54, 4.0% between 55 and 50, and 3.7% aged sixty or older. 38.7% were housewives, 24.7% in full-time regular employment, 20.4% in short-term or part-time work, etc.

I’ve highlighted the results from how women felt about mammographies, as my wife reports them to be a very painful experience, but I believe the question is more directed towards how women feel after having had the results rather than about the details of the examination itself.