Throughout the exam there will be examples of initiatives in which the different elements of the social ecological model will need to be applied. It is important that you know examples of different types of strategies that can be used in each level of the social ecological model.
The social ecological model consists of four levels the individual level, social environment level, physical environment level and policy level. For an initiative to be effective it needs to attempt to have strategies which are relevant to each level of the social ecological model. The more levels it addresses the more likely that initiative is to succeed in promoting and improving physical activity levels.
To improve the individual level this is about improving an individuals self efficacy(self-confidence or belief). This may involve:
- May be training on how to use the equipment properly
- Training in technique
- Educating the individual about the benefits of physical activity and harms of sedentary behaviour. Possible benefits of exercise include reducing anxiety, improved general health and well-being, decreased risk diabetes and hypertension and improved brain function.
- Providing the individual with money and access to equipment that they need to exercise.
Social Environment level
This level looks at the influence friends,family and other people may have on a group of people or an individuals willingness to participate in exercise. This may involve
- Group exercise classes or sessions.
- Girls or males only groups to make people feel more comfortable.
- Having skill level groups.
- Exercising with friends or family.
This is the actual surrounding environment and weather that may impact an individuals level of physical activity.
- Access to gyms or gym equipment
- bike tracks or walking paths
- Nice aesthetics so maybe having clean and well maintained parks and tracks
- Safety this may mean having lights, traffic lights and security.
- Weather factors may be avoided by having indoor spaces to exercise.
- Traffic calming devices to make the surrounding environment more safe this may include speed bumps or reduced speed limits.
This refers to the programs and initiatives introduced by organisations such as schools, the government and workplaces.This may involve:
- Urban planning changes making bike paths and walk paths more accessible to the community.
- This may include funding to schools and groups so that they can use facilities at a subsidised rate and this may act as an incentive.
- Workplaces may introduce shower blocks and change rooms to encourage active transport to and from work.
- Schools may implement programs such as the walking to school or by having physical education instruction time.
- Bike racks could be put up in ares around the school or workplace.
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