The first type of approach to health promotion are the lifestyle/ behavioural approaches. Such approaches seek to educate the individual so that they change their lifestyle or a particular behaviour to help improve their health. This may be to stop partaking in a risk behaviour or to start enjoying some protective behaviours. Either way, the aim is to change the person’s lifestyle or behaviour.
There are many health promotion campaigns that use lifestyle/ behavioural approaches as part of their health promotion.
For example, as part of our National Tobacco Campaign the Government started a program called Quit Now, which provides smokers with motivation and support as they seek to make a lifestyle/ behavioural change and quit smoking. Quit Now is a website with information related to why people should quite smoking, how to quite smoking and provides tips for those struggling to quite smoking.
Other quit smoking programs that work in conjunction with Quit Now include the many advertisements you have seen on TV telling people the harms of smoking, and motivating or providing information to people to help them to quit smoking.
Other lifestyle/ behavioural approaches would include our road safety and Swap it advertisements.
Often health promotion campaigns that utilise lifestyle/ behavioural approaches will include health education. In NSW most of this health education occurs in school during PDHPE lessons. For example, during PDHPE you will learn about: sexual health, road safety, healthy eating, the dangers of drug use (including alcohol and tobacco use), and the importance of physical activity for health.
The goal of health education is to provide the individual with knowledge around protective and risk behaviours so that they are less likely to take the risk and more likely to take up protective behaviours.
Determine the effectiveness of a range of health promotion strategies relevant to young people
Take a moment to think about some of the above health promotions. Have they been successful? That is, have smoking rates gone down? Are more and more people choosing to drive safely? Are adults and children beginning to swap it and chose to eat healthier and do more physical activity?
In order to answer such questions, you need to find statistics and look at the trends in such behaviours. A good place to begin to look is the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, or the Centre for Road Safety.