Japan promotes seniors’ healthy living with incentives to exercise

The following is an excerpt from the article Japan promotes seniors’ healthy living with incentives to exercise, interact socially

“In Tokyo’s Suginami ward, where Doi lives, authorities award points in the form of stickers to seniors who participate in government-approved activities ranging from picking up litter, to attending health and sporting events, to cultural activities. Each point has a value of 50 yen (64 cents) and can be exchanged for grocery coupons. The Suginami local government has allocated 80 million yen for the project this year, according to its website.”


In the current economic climate I can’t see our government offering financial incentives to exercise but I was wondering if you thought this was a good idea or not? Is a financial incentive something that would encourage you to do some/more exercise?
If the government provided a half hour of stretching and breathing exercises broadcast nationally on the radio daily (as Japan does) would this be something you would participate in?

Love to know your thoughts.

About Whole Life Fitness
Whole Life Fitness is a Personal Training business which caters exclusively to the over 50s. It is run by Helen Witcomb in Farnham, Surrey and the surrounding areas. Personal training is not just for the fit and healthy. Leading a more physically active lifestyle will help to maintain an ability to perform everyday tasks as well as helping to prevent immobility and isolation. For more information please call 07785747669, email helenwitcomb@wholelifefitness.co.uk or go to our website at http://www.wholelifefitness.co.uk

3 Responses to Japan promotes seniors’ healthy living with incentives to exercise

  1. I would love this, and not necessarily for the vouchers either. I love the idea of meeting in the park for a stretch with my neighbours. We’ve seen it when on holiday in Singapore and Hong Kong (I even joined in with tai chi). But perhaps I’m one of the converted?

    • I was lucky enough to spend some time in Japan as a child and one of my first memories is looking out the hotel window on the 2nd day and seeing hundreds of older adults exercising in the park next door. It’s embedded in their culture in a way it is not here.

      To be fair to our government there is a free walk for health programme. but I wonder if sometimes the not knowing anyone would put an older adult off joining the walk for health initiative and I don’t know how much stretching or flexibility exercises are included which are important as we age.

      • seasidesally says:

        I think it would be a wonderful idea if people joined up to go on a healthy walk. With typical British reserve you would need a vibarant leader to start it up, but then doing exercise in a group is so much more enjoyable than on one’s own. Also walking is so much kinder on the older body when arthritis might have set in and discouraged the older person to go to a gym class. It’ s a shame that people need to have vouchers/money as an incentive.

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