36708 How Is the Transmedia Concept Applied to Address Health Among Young Japanese?: Roboryman Project

Yoko Kawamura, PhD, MPH1, Shigeki Tsuzuku, PhD, MPH, MD1 and Katsuaki Sato, BA2, 1Center for Policy Studies, Kumamoto University, Kumamoto, Japan, 2Katsuaki Design, 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 seizes 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. Although at small companies, of which percentage is 99.7%, and about 70% of all the workers work, 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 that present the worldview of “Roboryman,” who is a fantasy character representing not health conscious business men, and that intrigue the audience’s curiosity and willingness to share via IT media. Actual program 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 the companies request us. 

Evaluation Methods and Results:  In the second year of the 3 year project, 8 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. Additionally, in the third year, 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:  At this moment only with the anecdotal data, though, the project has successfully transformed the transmedia concept into the message-delivering package. The impact of the message delivery such as whether it is actually powerful enough to motivate the audience members to share and whether the tools consisting the program increase awareness on health will be assessed though the evaluation process.  

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.