OSAKA -- Demand for electric massage chairs is steadily growing as more and more people seek attention akin to the touch of a professional masseur in the comfort of their own homes.

Industry officials said the market for such products mainly comprises people in their late 40s to 50s, but that younger customers are rapidly boarding the health-related goods bandwagon.

The chairs are a traditional feature of hot spring resorts and have previously been regarded as cumbersome objects that give over-vigorous massages.