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Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2019 Mar 30. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000001994. [Epub ahead of print]

Trends in Step-determined Physical Activity among Japanese Adults from 1995 to 2016.

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Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Tokyo Medical University, Tokyo, JAPAN.



We tried to clarify the trends in step-determined physical activity (PA) among Japanese adults from 1995 to 2016.


Raw data from the National Health and Nutrition Surveys Japan (NHNS-J) performed between 1995 and 2016 was used, in compliance with the Statistics Act of Japan. NHNS-J was conducted annually by the Japanese government (the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare) using a representative Japanese sample, with the same sampling method every year except in 2012 and 2016. A 1-day pedometer survey was conducted each year as a part of the NHNS-J, on a weekday in November specified by each individual. Because of the difference in age distribution of the samples, age-adjusted mean steps per day were calculated from 1995 to 2016 by sex. The time trends of step-determined PA levels among Japanese adults were described, and examined using Joinpoint regression.


The highest age-adjusted mean number of steps for men was 8,235 steps per day in 2000, whereas it was 7,667 steps per day in 2015. The highest age-adjusted mean number of steps for women was 7,474 steps per day in 1998, and 6,691 steps per day in 2015. The age-adjusted step-determined PA trend showed significantly decreasing trend from 1997 to 2008 in men (Annual Percentage Change (APC) =-0.74, p < 0.001), and from 1998 to 2008 (APC = -1.30, p < 0.001) in women, by Joinpoint regression.


The age-adjusted step-determined PA among Japanese adults between 1995 and 2016 decreased from around 1997-1998 until around 2008, but since then the decreasing trend became unclear both in men and women. Continuous monitoring of PA trends is essential to assess the effectiveness of policies.

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