Introduction: It is important for elderly people to participate in community-based activities, while leading active everyday lives to maintain their physical strength and brain function. The assumption can be made that the facial muscles of elderly people who participate in such community opportunities is more active in movement, and also through laughter. Kamijo and others (1) report that the "greater zygomatic muscle" of facial muscles works greatly during smiling. The purpose of this research is to clarify the relationships of a measurement called the facial expression aspect ratio [showing greater zygomatic muscular activity] (Kamijo et al. 2) with physical strength values and GO/NO-GO tasks [showing the activity situation of the frontal lobe], and to be of help for future elderly people’s health education programs.
Method: In 2007, we collected the facial expression aspect ratio measurement, the average score of a test of physical strength and fitness, and scores on the GO/NO-GO tasks from 78 elderly people in Nagano-city (overall mean age was 71.8 ± 5.5; 14 men (73.6 ± 6.4), 64 women (71.4 ± 5.4). Calculation of the expression aspect ratio was performed by the method noted above. The test of physical strength and fitness used was the new physical test method of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan, which includes "grip measurement," "standing on one leg with eyes opened," "10-m walk over obstacles" and "sit and reach flexibility test." The GO/NO-GO tasks conducted were 3 experiments of "formation," "specialization," and "inversion specialization" by the method of Masaki, et al.
Result and Discussion: We investigated the correlation of elderly people’s facial expression aspect ratio with physical strength, and GO/NO-GO tasks. When the facial expression aspect ratio was large, the high relation was intentionally drawn for the value of the test-of-physical-strength-and-fitness value: time to walk 10 m over obstacles is shorter, numerical value of the sit and reach flexibility test is large, time standing on one foot with eyes opened is longer. Moreover, if a facial expression aspect ratio becomes large, the total number of mistakes and errors on the GO/NO-GO tasks increases.
1) Toru Sugawara, Yamada Noboru, Sadoyama Tsugutake, Kamijo Masayoshi, Hosoya Satoshi, Iguchi Takeyoshi: Investigation of mechanism in smiles-Measurement of facial muscle activity and surface transformation, the collection of the Japan Society of Kansei Engineering sensitivity engineering papers, Vol.5, No.2, a pp47-54 2 (2005).
2) Sugawara Toru, Yamada Noboru, Sadoyama Tsugutake, Kamijo Masayoshi, Hosoya Satoshi, Iguchi Takeyoshi: Geometrical feature appeared in attractive smiles, Vol.5, No.1, and pp.53-58 (2004).