In Japan (Week 2): Wednesday

Health check program

It was another rainy day today. We met each other at a train station early in the morning when the rush hour started. Train and subway are the major transportation in Japan for people to go to work. Every morning, the train is loaded with thousands of people and we are like sardines standing among other sardines. I was surprised that the whole train is very quiet and everyone stays clam and mind their own business, either reading the newspaper or watching videos on their cell phones. This is my first impression of the train in Japan, crowded but quiet.

Okay, back to the topic, we went to the community center in Yocaichiba (Sosa City) where the faculty runs a health check program for students from grades 1 to 8. The health check includes weight and height measurement, dietary assessment, blood pressure check and blood test. This is the 26th year since the program started. Every student has his/her own profile, a record of their personal health condition. The health program is a partnership among government, university, school and hospital. The results are shared with the public and the data is used for hospital/university research programs. All the students have to do the health check once a year, and they are well behaved to ensure the program goes smoothly. The rain stopped on our way back and the train is still crowded. What a typical day in Japan!