37313 How Is the Transmedia Concept Applied to Address Health Among Young Japanese?: Roboryman Project

Yoko Kawamura, PhD, MPH, Center for Policy Studies, Kumamoto University, Kumamoto, Japan

Background:While being young, people tend not to care of their own health. Japanese young people focus on work and lose the balance between private life and working. At the age of 40, many companies regardless of sizes require their employees to get health check. Public health nurses realize so many of employees who just turned 40 years already start having problems in indexes of health, such as blood pressures and sugar, and are diagnosed with metabolic syndrome. Considering the number, the majority (99.7%) of the Japanese companies are considered as small or substance, and about 70% of all Japanese workers work for such companies. However, these small companies tend not to have good capability to promote their own employees’ health. Considering such situations at the worksite, the government start pushing health promotion at the work especially among small companies. 

Program background:The presented project was developed to propose an approach to alleviate the aforementioned condition, using transmedia concept to connect young employees to health issues. Under the project, several programs present the worldview of “Roboryman,” who is a fantasy character representing business men who are not taking good care of their won health, and intrigue the audience’s curiosity and willingness to share via IT media. Actual programs include such tools as visual contents (posters and info-graphics), the real character who visits companies upon requests, a music and promotion video, exercise (chobi-cercise – meaning a little excicise) videos of slow muscle training and stretching, the website connecting all the contents, the notebook (Roboryman techo) to track their daily lives including what to eat, and the internet application that supports communication among employees. Especially the last two are being used for the program to implement at companies. The real character comes to the health promotion program setting-up sessions when requested.      

Evaluation Methods and Results:In the last year of the 3 year project, 12 companies joined the program to use the notebook and the internet application for enhancing communication. With the pre- and post- design, data on program participating employees’ perceived health and health related behaviors have been collected and analyses will be done by the presentation. Further, we will assess how the information diffusion is like using the data on access to the web site and SNS, and part of the result will also be presented.     

Conclusions:With the limited data analyses, the results indicated the impact of the message delivery increased awareness on health. Whether it motivated the audience members to share and whether the tools consisting the program will be assessed though the evaluation process, though, but there is anecdotal evidence that the project has successfully transformed the transmedia concept into the message-delivering package.   

Implications for research and/or practice:This practice-oriented research study is very premier especially in Japan and is also meaningful to accumulate our knowledge of how to apply the transmedia into practice and what the impacts are like.