健康寿命 「元気で長生き」を目指したい

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Elderly must enjoy healthy long life without need for nursing care
健康寿命 「元気で長生き」を目指したい

A major challenge facing the nation at a time when its population is rapidly aging is to ensure that elderly people can maintain their day-to-day lives for as long as possible, dispensing with the need to receive nursing care.
 高齢になっても、介護を必要とせず、自立して生活できる期間をできるだけ延ばしていく。超高齢社会へ向けた大きな課題である。

In early August, the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry released the 2014 edition of its annual white paper, which focused on the goal of expanding the healthy life span so that the nation can be transformed into a long-lived, healthy society.
 厚生労働省が今月公表した2014年版の厚生労働白書は、「健康長寿社会の実現に向けて」をタイトルに、「健康寿命の延伸」をメインテーマに掲げた。

Healthy life expectancy refers to the number of years that people can continue to live their daily lives independently, uninterrupted by health problems and without having to receive the help of family members or others.
 健康寿命は、健康上の問題で日常生活が制限されず、家族などの手を借りることなく暮らせる年数のことだ。

In 2010, the healthy life span of the Japanese stood at 70.42 for men and 73.62 for women, both marking the world’s highest levels. The figures have been increasing year by year.
日本では、2010年時点で男性70・42歳、女性73・62歳と世界最高水準にあり、年々延びている。

However, these figures compare poorly with the average life expectancy—80.21 for men and 86.61 for women in 2013. This shows there is a disparity of about 10 years between the healthy life span and the average life expectancy among both Japanese men and women.
 ただし、平均寿命(13年)の男性80・21歳、女性86・61歳と比較すると、いずれも10歳前後の開きがある点に留意すべきだ。

The gap represents how long men and women will be highly dependent on nursing care and medical services. It is widening due to a greater increase in the average life expectancy compared to that of the healthy life span.
 この差は、介護や医療への依存度が高くなる期間を意味する。健康寿命より平均寿命の延びが大きいため、拡大する傾向にある。

It is necessary to shorten the period for which people need nursing and medical care, a task essential for enabling elderly people to live fulfilling, independent lives. If aged persons do not become bedridden and can live in good health for an extended period, the medical and nursing-care expenses they incur will likely be significantly reduced.
 できる限りこの期間を短縮することが、高齢者一人一人の生活を充実させるために欠かせない。寝たきりにならず、健康に過ごせる期間が延びれば、医療・介護費の抑制効果も期待できる。

The government has said the goal of making Japan a nation of healthy and long-lived people is a pillar of its growth strategy.
 政府は、健康長寿の実現を成長戦略の柱とも位置づけている。

In its strategy for health preservation and medical improvement adopted at a Cabinet meeting in July, the government said it would pursue the target of increasing the healthy life expectancy by more than one year by the end of 2020. The government hopes to nurture healthcare businesses that support elderly people’s efforts to lead long healthy lives, and promote such services and operations overseas, an endeavor conducive to economic growth.
 7月に閣議決定した「健康・医療戦略」では、20年までに健康寿命を1歳以上延ばす目標を打ち出した。「元気で長生き」を支える健康・医療関連産業を育成して、海外展開を促し、経済成長につなげたい考えだ。

An increase in the number of healthy elderly people is also expected to help secure workers and contribute to the promotion of volunteer activities.
 元気な高齢者の増加は、労働力の確保やボランティアの活性化にもつながるだろう。

Battle lifestyle illnesses

To increase the healthy life span, it is important for individuals to take preventive measures against lifestyle-related illnesses even while they are still working. Various complications can occur from diabetes, high blood pressure and other diseases associated with one’s lifestyle habits, which can easily lead to a need for nursing-care services in old age.
 健康寿命を延ばすには、現役時代から生活習慣病の予防を心がけることが大切だ。糖尿病や高血圧などは、様々な合併症を引き起こし、要介護状態を招きやすい。

It is also necessary for local government and business corporations to play an active role in improving the health of local residents and employees. Measures must include promoting better lifestyle habits and raising the percentage of people receiving medical checkups.
 自治体や企業も、住民や社員の生活習慣の改善や、健康診断の受診率向上などの健康作り対策に積極的に取り組む必要がある。

A good case in point is the Shizuoka prefectural government. The local government is promoting what it calls a “health mileage program” under which local residents are awarded points according to their medical checkup and daily physical exercise records. When a resident has collected a certain number of points, he or she is entitled to receive complimentary services at shops participating in the program.
 静岡県は、健診の受診や日々の運動実績をポイント化し、一定以上になると協力店で優待サービスを受けられる「健康マイレージ」事業を行っている。

Meanwhile, Tanita Corp., a Tokyo-based measurement equipment manufacturer, has adopted a system in which pedometers are distributed to all its employees, requiring them to record how many steps they take every day. Employees who score high in this daily practice receive awards for their accomplishments.
 計測器メーカーのタニタは、歩数計を全社員に配って計測を義務づけ、ランキング上位者を表彰する制度を設けている。

We hope measures will be taken to achieve the intended goal in a manner that fits the realities of each community and company.
 地域や会社の実情に合った対策を進めてもらいたい。

It is also important to provide elderly people with more opportunities to play an active role in society. If they make contributions to society through work and community service, elderly people will find their lives to be fulfilling and are unlikely to need nursing care.
 高齢者の活躍の場を広げることも重要だ。仕事や地域活動で社会に貢献することは、生きがいになり、介護予防に役立つだろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 24, 2014)

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srachai について

early retired civil engineer migrated from Tokyo to Thailand
カテゴリー: 英字新聞 パーマリンク

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