Adding value to people's lives based on physiological and psychological evaluationsTokyo Gas is quantitatively assessing the physiological and psychological benefits people receive from their daily activities and device usage and is using the results to come up with new ways to add value to people's lives in terms of bathing, cooking and air conditioning.
Tokyo Gas uses such indicators as core temperature and brainwave activity in evaluating the psychological and physiological effects on people of a variety of activities and device usage. Several examples from past research are introduced here.
The effect of full-body bathing and mist sauna bathing on mental fatigueNine healthy males in their 20s were asked to perform a mentally fatiguing task both before and after taking a bath and mist sauna bath. Flicker fusion value was measured for each test participant both before and after performing the mentally fatiguing task as a measure of how fatigued their central nervous system was.
For both the full-body baths and mist sauna baths, the results showed that the decrease in flicker fusion value was less for the task performed after the bath than for the task performed before it. This suggests that full-body bathing and mist sauna bathing helped to lessen the amount of fatigue built up from performing the task.
〔The effect of full-body and mist sauna bathing on mental fatigue - Change in flicker fusion value before and after task performance (change before and after bathing)〕
"Joint research with Chiba University"
The effect of regularly mist sauna bathing on relief for poor circulation
The effect of regularly mist sauna bathing on poor circulation in summer was measured, such as air-conditioner sickness. Sixteen women in their 20's to 30's having a poor circulation (self-diagnosis) were divided into two groups, eight women taking a mist sauna bath and eight women taking a shower bath. They took the designated bath at a laboratory three times a week. (Both groups took only a shower at home.) A cold water load test was conducted before and after continuous bathing. The mist sauna bathing group for two weeks recovered their instep skin temperature significantly quicker (P<0.05) than two weeks prior. The results indicated that a mist sauna is effective relief for poor circulation such as that caused by an air conditioner.
〔The effect of mist sauna bathing on relief for poor circulation-change of instep skin temperature on cold water load test〕
The hyperthermic effect of floor heating
The physiological and psychological effect was evaluated by seven male university students in their twenties and under the conditions of with and without floor heating. The rate of mean power frequency (%MPF) of electromyogram (EEG) at the bicep brachii was increased when floor heating was provided. It is known that mean power frequency of EEG is decreased by muscle fatigue or cooling. That is, it indicate the blood flow that kept by local heating to feet by floor heating has good influence on muscles.
〔The hyperthemic effect of floor heating-Change of %MPF of EEG at biceps brachii -Rate of change of the average power of an electromyogram of biceps muscle of arm-〕
Tokyo Gas will recommend effective usage and develop more effective new products based on the human-centered design concept.