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Open AccessArticle

A Physical Health Profile of Youths Living with a “Hikikomori” Lifestyle

School of Nursing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China
Department of Social Work, Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China
Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies, National University of Singapore, Lower Kent Ridge Road, Singapore 119077, Singapore
Withdrawal Youth Service, Hong Kong Christian Service, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(2), 315;
Received: 28 December 2017 / Revised: 5 February 2018 / Accepted: 8 February 2018 / Published: 11 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion)
A cross-sectional study was designed to understand the impacts of “hikikomori” lifestyle on physical health. A total of 104 eligible hikikomori cases were recruited from the social services network of Hong Kong with a mean age of 19.02 ± 3.62 (ranged 13–31) year-old, and had completed the set of questionnaires and a series of anthropometric and physical health measurements. Despite SF36 score of 84.0 indicated good physical functioning in general, participants were lived sedentarily with high incidence of hypertension at 15.4% and prehypertension at 31.7%. Occurrence of hypertension and prehypertension in cases living as hikikomori >6 months were 3 times and 1.5 times higher than those newly onset cases, respectively. The blood pressure levels were correlated with age and all obesity index parameters measured including waist circumference and body mass index. Results also observed a shift of body weight from underweight to overweight and obesity along the hikikomori duration. Half of the hypertensive cases involved the elevation of systolic blood pressure, which suggested higher odds of cardiovascular complications. In conclusion, the hikikomori lifestyle could be a risk behavior that may harm the younger generation physically by promoting obesity and hypertension and probably other chronic illnesses. View Full-Text
Keywords: hikikomori; hidden youth; social withdrawal; health; hypertension; obesity; adolescent; physical health hikikomori; hidden youth; social withdrawal; health; hypertension; obesity; adolescent; physical health
MDPI and ACS Style

Yuen, J.W.M.; Yan, Y.K.Y.; Wong, V.C.W.; Tam, W.W.S.; So, K.-W.; Chien, W.T. A Physical Health Profile of Youths Living with a “Hikikomori” Lifestyle. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 315.

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