Appropriately Addressing Too Much Sitting as a Public Health Issue: Content Analysis of Coverage in the Five Major National Japanese Newspapers

Asia Pac J Public Health. 2024 Jan;36(1):20-28. doi: 10.1177/10105395231220470. Epub 2023 Dec 28.

Abstract

Recent international public health guidelines now address reducing and breaking up time spent sitting (sedentary behavior). Japanese people spend considerable time sitting in workplaces and other contexts. With potential future public health guidelines in Japan, there is the need for greater public awareness of the importance of reducing sedentary time and of practical ways to do so. From the five major Japanese national newspapers, articles on sedentary behavior published between 2000 and 2021 were identified and coded for content analysis, including the main topic of the article, population group, sedentary behavior context or domain, health outcome, and solutions for reducing sedentary time. There were 53 articles identified, with sedentary behavior being the main topic in 22; workers as a population group appeared in 20 articles and workplaces as a domain in 22. More than 70% mentioned health influences, but fewer than 60% mentioned solutions. Further to informing the public about adverse health influences and consequences for workers and workplaces, there is also the need for improved coverage of the broader benefits of reducing sitting time, sedentary behavior among older adults and children, sitting in all aspects of daily life, and, importantly, considering public health guidelines and solutions for reducing prolonged sitting.

Keywords: content analysis; health communication; mass media; newspaper; sedentary behavior.

MeSH terms

  • East Asian People*
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Public Health*
  • Sedentary Behavior*
  • Sitting Position*
  • Workplace

Supplementary concepts

  • Japanese people