A physical health profile of youths living with a “hikikomori” lifestyle

John W.M. Yuen*, Yoyo K.Y. Yan, Victor C W WONG, Wilson W.S. Tam, Ka Wing So, Wai Tong Chien

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A cross-sectional study was designed to understand the impacts of “hikikomori” lifestyle on physical health. A total of 104 eligible hikikomori cases were recruited from the social services network of Hong Kong with a mean age of 19.02 ± 3.62 (ranged 13-31) year-old, and had completed the set of questionnaires and a series of anthropometric and physical health measurements. Despite SF36 score of 84.0 indicated good physical functioning in general, participants were lived sedentarily with high incidence of hypertension at 15.4% and prehypertension at 31.7%. Occurrence of hypertension and prehypertension in cases living as hikikomori >6 months were 3 times and 1.5 times higher than those newly onset cases, respectively. The blood pressure levels were correlated with age and all obesity index parameters measured including waist circumference and body mass index. Results also observed a shift of body weight from underweight to overweight and obesity along the hikikomori duration. Half of the hypertensive cases involved the elevation of systolic blood pressure, which suggested higher odds of cardiovascular complications. In conclusion, the hikikomori lifestyle could be a risk behavior that may harm the younger generation physically by promoting obesity and hypertension and probably other chronic illnesses.

Original languageEnglish
Article number315
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume15
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Feb 2018

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

User-Defined Keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Health
  • Hidden youth
  • Hikikomori
  • Hypertension
  • Obesity
  • Physical health
  • Social withdrawal

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