ロコモとわたしたち

ロコモって知っていますか?

 スポーツ科学や児童発達の領域で、最近よく耳にする言葉、ロコモ。

 私はヨガを学ぶ中で知りましたが、ヨガの世界ではロコモの解消に向けたレッスンが数々考案されています。

 ロコモ、正式名称はロコモティブシンドローム(loco-motive syndrome)。

 「運動器の機能障害により、移動するための能力が低下した身体状況」とされています。

 ふだん、わたしたちは当たり前のように身体を動かしていますが、そこには筋肉、骨、関節、神経など、身体活動に不可欠な身体器官がうまく連携して機能してくれています。

具体的には、

・関節疾患(変形性関節症、骨粗鬆症、脊柱管狭窄症、関節リウマチ)

・脊椎・末梢神経の疾患(筋肉や関節に、しびれ・痛み、筋力低下が起こる)

・無自覚ロコモ(上述の症状に気づかずに、身体困難が進行する状況)

 ケガにより特定の身体機能が低下することはありますが、ロコモは、加齢や運動不足などで運動に関わる身体機能が低下し、歩いたり走ったり、しゃがんだり立ち上がったりなど、日常動作に困難が生じることを指します。

 日本人の平均寿命がどんどん伸びていると聞くことがありますが、日常を健康に過ごすことの大切さは、ロコモ課題からも考えさせられます。

子どもロコモ

 少し前から、学齢期の子どもにロコモ症状が出るケースが増えています。

 例えば、ちょっとした衝撃で骨折したり、うまく走れなかったり、片足立ちなどバランス感覚を必要とする動きが極端にできなかったり。

 現代の子どもの生活習慣の乱れや運動不足が原因と考えられていますが、コロナ禍の影響でステイホームが日常となり、今後のロコモ課題の急増が心配されています。

 一般的に、子どものうちは関節や筋肉が柔らかくて発達しやすいので、バランス能力や柔軟性にそん色ないことが多いですが、膝が曲がらずしゃがむことができない、腕をまっすぐ上げられない、いつも肩こりがあるなど、壮年期の男性に起こりがちな症状を抱える子どもが多くなっています。

子どもロコモと心の発達

 ロコモは子どもの自尊心の発達に大きく影響します。

 子どもは,取り立ててスポーツができなくても,運動するのが好きでなくても,のびのびと体を動かしたり,着実にできる動きが増えていったりすることで,自信を獲得していきます。

 また,身体的アフォーダンスの発達にも影響します。子どもは,身体発達の過程で,自分の身体機能としてできることや難しいことを感覚的に学びます。例えば,目の前に溝があったら「これくらいなら飛び越えられる。」,または「これはジャンプしても届かないな。」など,身体能力が現実に対処できるかを適切に判断できる感覚を身につけます。しかし,ロコモにより小さな頃から身体機能に支障が生じる体験を重ねると,本来できる動きにも億劫になったり,怖気やすくなったりして,自分のできる動き,本来発揮できる身体機能を把握できないままとなります。そうすると,運動不足や運動嫌いなどの副次的な影響も生じ,健康レベルが全体に低下することにもつながってきます。

ロコモへの対応

 シンプルに,適度な運動をすることがロコモを防ぐことにつながります。活発に走り回ったり,長い時間歩いたり,毎日筋トレをしたりと,特別なエネルギーを注ぐ必要はありません。手足や首・肩回り,背中や腰など,身体をまんべんなく動かせれば良いのです。つまり,通学で日常的に歩いたり,階段を上ったり,体育で準備運動や整理体操に取り組んだりする程度で良いのです。

 さらに効果的な取組みとしては,体操,クラシックバレエ,ダンス,ヨガなど,身体の各部位に意識して動かす時間を確保することです。自分の身体がどんな風に動くか,こんな動きは得意だけれどこの動きは苦手,こんな風に動くとケガをするから危ないなど,実際に身体を動かす体験を通じて,身体機能の知識や自分の身体への意識を高めましょう。

出典:FatCamera/Getty Images

ロコモと私たち

 今回は主に子どもロコモに焦点を当てましたが,従来は,加齢による身体機能の低下を要因とすることが多く,高齢者中心の成人を対象とする課題でした。

 ここ数年,ステイホームが推奨される社会状況で,テレワークが大幅に普及したり,バーチャル空間での社会活動が著しく発展したりする反面,身体運動の機会が確実に減っています。運動機能に関するトラブルは,全ての年代,つまり生涯発達を通じた課題になりつつあると感じます。

 ロコモはそんな現代人の活動形態の一つの特徴として,避けて通れない話題になっていくかもしれません。自分の身体に意識を向けて,心地よく,健康な状態を維持できるように,身体の声を聴きましょう。

 身体の声に耳を傾けるには,やはり瞑想がおすすめです。

Do you know what locomo is?

Loco-mo is a word we hear a lot these days in the field of sports science and child development.
I learned about it while studying yoga, and in the world of yoga, many lessons have been devised to help eliminate locomo.
The official name for locomo is locomotive syndrome.
It is defined as “a physical condition in which the ability to move around is impaired due to dysfunction of the locomotor system.
We usually move our bodies as a matter of course, but muscles, bones, joints, nerves, and other body organs that are essential for physical activity function well together.
Specifically.

Joint diseases (osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, scoliosis, rheumatoid arthritis)
Diseases of the spine and peripheral nerves (numbness, pain, and muscle weakness in muscles and joints)
Unaware locomo (a situation in which physical difficulty progresses without the symptoms mentioned above being noticed).

While certain bodily functions may deteriorate due to injury, locomo refers to the deterioration of bodily functions related to locomotion due to aging or lack of exercise, resulting in difficulties in daily activities such as walking, running, squatting, and standing.
We hear that the average life expectancy of Japanese people is increasing rapidly, and the locomo issue makes us think about the importance of spending our daily lives in good health.

Children’s locomo

For some time now, there has been an increasing number of cases of locomotor symptoms in school-aged children.
For example, they may break bones with the slightest impact, be unable to run well, or be extremely unable to perform movements that require a sense of balance, such as standing on one leg.
It is believed that this is due to the disordered lifestyle and lack of exercise in today’s children, but there is concern about a sharp increase in future locomo issues as stay-at-home becomes the norm due to the Corona Disaster.
In general, children often do not lose their balance and flexibility because their joints and muscles are soft and easily developed. However, many children have symptoms that tend to occur in mature men, such as inability to bend their knees and squat, inability to raise their arms straight, and constant stiffness in their shoulders The number of patients is increasing.

Children’s Locomo and Mental Development

Locomo has a significant impact on the development of a child’s self-esteem.
Even if children are not particularly athletic or fond of physical activity, they gain confidence through spontaneous physical activity and a steady increase in the number of movements they can perform.
This also affects the development of physical affordances. During the process of physical development, children learn what they can and cannot do as a bodily function through their senses. For example, if there is a ditch in front of them, they will say, “I can jump over this.” or “I can’t reach this even if I jump. For example, if there is a ditch in front of them, they learn to appropriately judge whether their physical abilities can cope with the reality or not. However, if a person experiences physical dysfunctions due to locomotion from an early age, he or she may become reluctant or easily intimidated to perform movements that he or she is capable of, and may not be able to grasp the movements he or she is capable of performing or the physical functions he or she is capable of performing. This can lead to secondary effects such as lack of exercise and dislike of physical activity, which in turn can lead to an overall decline in health.

*Insert photo of smiling child

Coping with Loco-mo

Simple, moderate exercise is the key to preventing locomo. You don’t need to devote any special energy to running around actively, taking long walks, or doing daily strength training. It is enough to move your limbs, neck, shoulders, back, hips, and other parts of your body evenly. In other words, it is enough to walk to school on a daily basis, climb stairs, and engage in preparatory exercises and calisthenics in physical education.
For more effective exercise, it is recommended that students spend time moving each part of their body, such as through gymnastics, classical ballet, dance, yoga, etc. Through the experience of actually moving your body, you can improve your knowledge of bodily functions and awareness of your own body, such as how your body moves, what kind of movements you are good at but not so good at, or how dangerous it is to move in this way because you might get injured.
Locomo and us

Although this issue focused primarily on children’s locomo, it has traditionally been an issue for adults, primarily the elderly, as it is often attributed to the decline of physical functions due to aging.
In the past few years, while stay-home living has been encouraged in our society, teleworking has become much more widespread, and social activities in virtual spaces have developed significantly, opportunities for physical exercise have steadily decreased. We feel that problems related to motor function are becoming an issue for all ages, that is, throughout life-long development.
Locomo may become an unavoidable topic as one of the characteristics of modern people’s activity patterns. Let’s be aware of our own bodies and listen to them so that we can maintain a comfortable and healthy state.
Meditation is still a good way to listen to your body.
I will discuss meditation at another time, so please refer to that article.

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