Honda, A. and Yamazaki, K., Waseda University and Masaki, H., Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Japan
In occupational therapy, occupational activities were largely chosen by experiences of occupational therapist. The experimental evidences were needed to choose occupational activities. The aim of this study was to clarify the effects of bean-moving tasks on autonomic nervous activities and to confirm that these tasks are suitable for occupational therapy. We investigated three versions of bean-moving tasks, each task lasting for a period of 5 minutes. Twelve healthy participants were instructed to move beans with wooden chopsticks from one box to another in the easy task, to move them with lacquered chopsticks in the difficult task, and to perform the easy bean-moving task together with a stimulus-discrimination task in the dual-task situation. The participants during the tasks were monitored electrocardiogram, blood pressure, respiration, skin potential response, plethysmogram and electrooculogram. Performance was significantly lower for the difficult task compared to the other tasks. Heart rate and blood pressure increased during the dual task in association with the higher mental workload, motivation, and arousal. In addition, a positive skin potential response frequently occurred during the dual task, indicating a higher arousal. Based on these results, we conclude that the tasks used in this study are suitable for occupational therapy and should be performed in the order of easy, difficult, and dual-tasks to evoke different autonomic nervous activities.