Sports From a Different Perspective

OVERVIEW

That is Yuru Sports // ゆるスポーツ (i.e., “laid-back sports”) — a series of sporting games aimed at removing physical barriers within sports, by means of AR technology. Augmented reality (AR) refers to the merging of digital elements within a user’s real-life surroundings. Unlike virtual reality (VR), it doesn’t entirely immerse the user in an artificial environment.

Due to current restrictions and regulations, socialising, along with participation in any forms of physical activity have drastically decreased globally, aspects that are posing concerns, as they play crucial roles in our general health, both physical and mental. Concurrently, the pandemic has taken its toll on people’s mental health, figures of depression and anxiety having spiked. Even more, pandemic stress tends to be higher among younger generations, yet present among all age groups.

Therefore, we feel grateful for the initiatives taken to bring us closer at a time when we are so apart. This being said, we will start introducing how this recent trend in shaping attitudes and perceptions towards sports, creating a more inclusive and connected sports community.

A BROADER ATHLETE COMMUNITY

So let’s explore a distinct approach to how we play and think about sports, designed to be accessible to a wider audience. Next, we will present some of the most popular and impactful Yuru Sports among with the contributions each are making to our society.

KOTATSU HOCKEY

This game is suitable for the elderly as it promotes concentration and physical movement through stretching and contracting of the arms, using a hot cup of tea to repel the digital orange (i.e., the puck) — hence, implying a positive impact for the mind and body.

And while the percentage of Japanese seniors engaging in physical exercises is considerably high, for example, constituting “at least 20% of all gym members”, on a wider scale, worldwide, elders tend to withdraw from sports activities as these may be perceived as unsuitable for their age, health, energy levels, etc.

Contrastingly, physical activity has been proven to be beneficial for functional health (i.e., muscles, bones, nerves), while lowering the risks of non-communicable diseases, mental health disorders, and cognitive decline. More suggestions of activities adults aged 65+ shall consider include: “walking, dancing, gardening, hiking, swimming, cycling, household chores, games, sports or planned exercise”, for at least 150 minutes a week, as listed by WHO, HHS, and the NHS, 2020.

TON TON VOICE SUMO

This initiative was developed so as to improve throat functions, which tend to decline as we age, implying further health risks such as breathings issues or trouble swallowing. Just as important, through our vocal cords we are able to communicate, however, around the world, elders particularly are less likely to speak aloud, and hence, often avoid or even abstain from socialising.

This has been proven to affect health and wellbeing — studies revealing that social isolation and loneliness increase likelihood of cognitive decline, mental health disorders, heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, and a weakened immune system. Accordingly, an active social life may reduce stress and isolation tendencies, helping maintain mental, emotional, and physical health.

EYE BLOW LIFTING

Such game helps release the tension and stiffness in our foreheads and around our eyes, which we are even more prone to nowadays, considering the restrictions brought by the pandemic. Moreover, alike the sports mentioned above, this game is also more accessible to people with certain disabilities.

Globally, disabled adults are much more likely to be physically inactive compared to non-disabled adults, while only minorities considering that ‘sports’ are a suitable option. Yet, physical activity is just as important as it is to non-disabled people. Thus, it is essential to acknowledge and aim to engage in any adequate forms of physical activity whenever possible.

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to our blog and check out upcoming updates about the initiatives taken by our Sunbears team to innovate and enhance connectivity within the sports world. Aligned with the visions presented in this article, our aim is to establish a safe, thriving community — based on sharing support, knowledge, and expertise — that is inclusive and dares to challenge current norms. Stay tuned!

REFERENCE LIST

Acts Retirement-Life Communities (2017) The Importance of Socializing for Seniors [online] available from https://www.actsretirement.org/latest-retirement-news/blog/2017/12/12/the-importance-of-socializing-for-seniors/#:~:text=%20Here%20are%20some%20of%20the%20most%20commonly,members%20to%20assist%20with%20social%20activities%20More%20

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2020) Physical Activity for People with Disability [online] available from https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/disabilityandhealth/features/physical-activity-for-all.html

Clio (2018) YURU SPORTS ~ SPORTS FOR ALL, TRULY FOR ALL ~ [online] available from https://clios.com/sports/winner/innovation/yuru-sports/yuru-sports-sports-for-all-truly-for-all--35949

Elder Care Alliance (2017) The Importance of Socialization in Aging [online] available from https://eldercarealliance.org/blog/importance-of-socialization-in-aging/

HHS (2020) Physical Activity [online] available from https://www.hhs.gov/fitness/resource-center/facts-and-statistics/index.html

Kyodo News (2020) Augmented reality “yuru sports” bring inclusive competition to anyone [online] available from https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2020/07/f0d7faba1a35-augmented-reality-yuru-sports-bring-inclusive-competition-to-anyone.html

National Institutes of Health (2019) Social isolation, loneliness in older people pose health risks [online] available from https://www.nia.nih.gov/news/social-isolation-loneliness-older-people-pose-health-risks

NHS (2020) Exercise as you get older [online] available from https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/exercise-as-you-get-older/

ONS (2020) Coronavirus (COVID-19) roundup: People and social impacts [online] available from https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/articles/coronaviruscovid19rounduppeopleandsocialimpacts/2020-07-03#wellbeing

Oxford Dictionary (2020) augmented reality [online] available from https://languages.oup.com/

Statista (2020) Pandemic Causes Spike in Anxiety & Depression [online] available from https://www.statista.com/chart/21878/impact-of-coronavirus-pandemic-on-mental-health/

Sunbears (2020) Why use Sunbears? [online] available from https://sunbears.com/

Taylor, D. (2014) ‘Physical activity is medicine for older adults’ Postgraduate Medical Journal 90, 26–32. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/postgradmedj-2012-131366

The Japan Times (2018) The elderly are dominating Japan’s fitness clubs [online] available from https://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2018/03/25/commentary/japan-commentary/elderly-dominating-japans-fitness-clubs/#.X0Ost8gzY2x

World Health Organisation (2020) Physical Activity and Older Adults [online] available from https://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/factsheet_olderadults/en/

Yuru Sports (2020) Eye Blow Lifting [online] available from https://yurusports.com/sports/aryurusports/eyeblowlifting

Yuru Sports (2020) Kotatsu Hockey [online] available from https://yurusports.com/sports/healthcare/kotatsuhockey

Yuru Sports (2020) Ton Ton Voice Sumo [online] available from https://yurusports.com/sports/healthcare/tontonvoicesumo

Yuru Sports (2020) World Yuru Sports Association [online] available from http://yurusports.com/

世界ゆるスポーツ協会 — YouTube (2016)【公式】トントンボイス相撲 PV [online] available from https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=120&v=GDvcSkQ96Jg&feature=emb_logo

Driven by our passion for sports, we have made it our goal to contribute to the development of the sports world. // 私たちはスポーツへの情熱を胸に、スポーツ界の発展に貢献することを目標としています。

Driven by our passion for sports, we have made it our goal to contribute to the development of the sports world. // 私たちはスポーツへの情熱を胸に、スポーツ界の発展に貢献することを目標としています。