Division of Physical and Health Education

Course Description

What is physical and health education…?

Schools are beset with serious problems, such as bullying, school refusal by students, physical attacks on students and teachers and even killings, mistreatment of small animals kept there. The need for “education of the heart” and “health of the heart” is called for. Meanwhile, there are other problems related to children’s mental and physical health, such as obesity, slimming obsession, chronic fatigue, sleepiness, injuries from over-use in sports, drug abuse and smoking. In addition, Japan’s aging society and the development of science and technology are the background to rising social problems that need to be addressed from the perspectives of the body, society and the environment. They include insufficient exercise and increasing lifestyle-related illnesses among the middle-aged and the elderly, the sequence of the elderly falling, suffering fractures and becoming bedridden, the effects of environments on human development, and the method to organize sports activities safely for middle-aged and older.

The study of physical and health education focuses on diverse phenomena related to the body and health that occur at schools, homes and society. The focus is on education and research from a broad and practical standpoint. The aim is to cultivate awareness of the need to be physically and mentally healthy, to cultivate healthy views of the body and sports, and foster the ability to face and achieve the goal of nurturing the body.

Established in April 1998, the Division of Physical and Health Education is the first of its kind in Japan focusing on “education about the body and health.”

Our education principles can be summed up as follows:
Understand the nature of the body
See the significance of the body, health and life
Appreciate the fun and joy of physical activities

Staff

Yoshiharu YAMAMOTO

Professor (Educational Physiology)

The data analysis of biomedical and health-related information is my specialty. In a research side, focusing mainly on health-related data in daily settings, I investigate methods for the data collection, data analysis, interpretation of the results, and the use of information obtained for health risk evaluation and disease prevention. In addition to the development of new methodology for signal processing, modelling, and statistical analysis, of the standard physiological measurements, recently I also focus on a broader health-related data including behavioral and social ones. In an education side, I aim at teaching students with diverse interests and concerns so that they acquire specialized and integrated analytic skills required in the era of information and communication technology.

Tsukasa SASAKI

Professor (Health Education)

A major focus of my study is to investigate and elucidate genetic and environmental factors that might affect physical and mental development in children and adolescents. Biological and psychological factors play a significant role in such development, which I would like all students in the research areas of education to understand well when they conduct their studies. Specific studies include the effects of the sleep-wake rhythm in 24-hour society, genome variations and environmental factors, especially during the embryonic stage, on growth, development, mental health and disorders. Other studies are on the effects of lifestyles and environmental factors on students’ and teachers’ mental health in high schools and universities. Longitudinal comparisons of co-twins in their physical and mental development are also a focus of these studies.

Gentaro TAGA

Professor (Developmental Brain Sciences)

I explore the principle of how locomotion, perception and cognition of man are generated through dynamic interaction between the brain, body and the environment. In particular, I focus on the developmental process of newborns and infants and hope to shed light on nativism; rule of the development of complex systems; adaptability to the environment; voluntary information-generating mechanism. I also work on behavior measure; psychological experiments; imaging of the brain; nonlinear dynamics modeling and computer simulation.

Daichi NOZAKI

Professor (Physical Education)

The neural and musculoskeletal systems that support bodily motions have extremely redundant characteristics. For instance, the motion of flexing and extending a single joint involves an enormous number of neurons of the brain and spinal cord and a large number of muscles. Through such methods as motion analysis, (evoked) electromyogram, brain waves, magnetic stimulation of the brain, fMRI and motor learning paradigm using the robot arm, I hope to clarify how sophisticated movements are performed and acquired based
on this redundancy.

Fumiharu TOGO

Associate Professor (Educational Physiology)

Modern 24-hour society has changed many aspects of our behaviors such as sleep, diet, and physical activity. My work focuses on how changes in amount, quality, and timing of these life-related activities predict future physical and mental functions and illnesses, which will increase in diversity in various physical and social environments, in adolescents, workers, and the elderly. To gain insight into how this might happen, I examine biological and questionnaire data obtained by laboratory, ecological, and epidemiological approaches.

Kenji MORITA

Associate Professor (Physical Education)

How we can learn from successes and failures, and how we can motivate ourselves to learn, are both fundamental issues in learning physical skills used in sports or music performance, as well as in every kind of learning. Also, whether a thrilling event induces pleasure or fear, or whether a complicated quiz excites or annoys someone, depends on one’s past experience, physical and mental state, and personality. I am studying neural and bodily mechanisms of learning and emotion underlying these phenomena through computational modeling and analysis based on biological knowledge and behavioral/physiological approaches.