Current position: Project Researcher

Institution /Faculty /Department : Institute of Gerontology, The University of Tokyo


Tomoki Tanaka is a project researcher at Institute of Gerontology, The University of Tokyo. Tanaka has received Ph.D. degree in medicine at The University of Tokyo in 2019, and Completion of the gerontology program, Graduate Program in Gerontology “Global Leadership Initiative for an Age-Friendly Society”, The University of Tokyo in 2019. Also, he has received Master degree of Health management at Keio University in 2013. He has more than 8 years of experience in research field of Geriatrics and Gerontology, particularly in frailty and sarcopenia among community-dwelling older adults. He first held position of Project Academic Support Specialist, Institute of Gerontology (2013-2015), The University of Tokyo, then became Research Fellowship for Young Scientists, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (2016-2018). He is currently a project researcher in Institute of Gerontology, the University of Tokyo. 

"Action Research" to Achieve Community-based Comprehensive Approach for Frailty Prevention


As the world’s older population grows, medical management for healthy aging has become more challenging. Frailty is a serious problem that describes a complex state of increased vulnerability due to adverse health outcomes, particularly in countries with societal aging. Our aim to notice evidence-based new information, leading to frailty prevention, and let the community-based activity by older citizen only promote as a voluntary motion in each community. 

We developed a simple screening tool, ''Frailty Check-up activity'', which elderly citizen supporters only can operate in each small gathering place (e.g. community salon) via support by its local government. Based on the concept of all-including three pillars, 1) nutrition (i.e. dietary food intake including diversity and adequate protein intake, and treatment/maintenance against oral frailty), 2) physical activity (not only exercises but also social daily activity) and 3) social participation, the newly citizen activity ''Frailty Check-up '' has developed. 

After supporters received training fully, they could implement this activity completely and repeatedly in each local municipality. Older participants could learn how to improve by themselves with raising their self-awareness for the importance of early frailty prevention and could change their behavior modification. Further, using big data combined with pre-existing database of long-term care needs and all-cause mortality, we found the new cut-off point in our frailty check-up activity.

We could confirm that our interdisciplinary ''ACTION-RESEARCH '' can raise the citizen's early awareness and affect their behavior modification via older citizen supporter system for frailty prevention, consequently leading to extend healthy life expectancy.

Keywords: Frailty, sarcopenia, action research, translational study

Research Specialty
Geriatric medicine and Gerontology (especially prevention of frailty and sarcopenia), Health management

Recent Highlight Projects
As a public health countermeasure to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Older adults have been asked to refrain from going out of the house. Under this situation, there is a concern for the onset and development of frailty due to the inactive daily lifestyle. Therefore, our recent study examines whether excessive measures for COVID-19 increase the risk of developing frailty. We used the data from frailty check-ups, and tested our objectives by comparing the differences in data before and after the request for self-restraint due to COVID-19. As a result, the health behaviors of community-dwelling older adults became worse before and after the request for restraint, and sarcopenia tended to be more progressive. We plan to continue this study.


Institute of Gerontology, The University of Tokyo