Ecological Models of physical activity Social Ecological Models of physical activity
Social Ecological Models New to the 2011-2014 study design in Unit 3, Area of Study 1, in VCE Physical Education (2011–2014) is the Social Ecological Model. This concepts relates specifically to Unit 3, Area of Study 1, Monitoring and promotion of physical activity. More specifically in relates to the following: Key Knowledge • components of social-ecological models: (individual, social environment, physical environment and policy); the relationship between the multiple levels of influence and physical activity. Key Skills • identify the components of the social-ecological model • apply the social-ecological model to critique physical activity strategies used by government and non-government organisations to target two subpopulation groups.
An ecological perspective suggests reciprocal causation between the individualand the environment In other words, individual behaviour can influence the environment, and the environment can influence individual behaviour. • It is important to understand that no single factor on its own can lead to behaviour change
Two extremely important points to remember are that: • ecological models of physical activity reinforce the interplay of demographic, psychological, social and environmental variables influencing physical activity behaviour • social–ecological models of physical activity are characterised by multiple levels of influence on behaviour and an emphasis on environmental and policy influences.
Multiple levels of influence Within the social–ecological model, physical activity behaviour is viewed as being determined by factors at four levels: individual, interpersonal, physical environment and policy. • It is these factors that need to be targeted when designing physical activity intervention programs.
Levels of influence of physical activity Individual factors Policy Interpersonal factors Physical environment
Individual (intrapersonal) factors These are individual characteristics, such as attitudes, behaviour, self concept, behavioural skills (for example, goal setting, or fundamental motor skill confidence) and knowledge (for example, of the advantages of being active).
Intervention strategies at an intrapersonal level might include: • educational programs (for example, a step class or Pilates program) • support groups (for example, walking groups) • organisational incentives directed at individuals (for example, subsidised gym memberships for staff who go to the gym at least once per week) • counselling • mass media, by targeting individuals to consider being more active (although the message is aimed at the population level.
Interpersonal (social) environment This refers to the formal and informal social climate and support network and systems surrounding an individual. • Supportive behaviours can be provided by primary groups, which include the family, work group and friendship circle. Examples of supportive behaviours include providing or sharing transportation to sport or a park, encouraging someone to be active, offering to be active with someone, and helping to pay fees. • Interpersonal relationships with family, friends, work colleagues and neighbours are all important influences on physical activity.
Interpersonal (social) intervention strategies • Strategies should focus on changing the culture (the nature of the existing social relationships) to encourage and provide support for physical activity. While the ultimate target of the strategies may be to increase physical activity in individuals, the interim targets are the social norms and social influences. • For example, to increase the physical activity of individuals in a community aged care facility, the interim target is to create a lifestyle activity culture within the facility.
Physical environment • The physical environment, both natural and constructed, plays a huge role in influencing physical activity behaviour. Natural features such as trees, water (beaches, rivers, lakes, creeks), grasslands and wildlife can create an attractive environment in which to be active. • The built environment refers to constructed (man made) features such as ovals, gymnasiums, court areas, fields, grandstands, changing facilities and amenities, pools, car parking and so on. • The built environment also includes changes to terrain (for example, the creation or levelling of hills) and structural changes such as walking trails, boardwalks and cycling paths. • Many new housing estates build walking trails, cycling paths, parklands and even water features to incorporate opportunities for recreation into the natural features in the environment.
Intervention strategies within the physical environment • Improved accessibility, e.g. Introducing ramps or smooth surfaces so that people using wheelchairs can access the area safely. • New recreational or sporting facilities may be built close to a school, community shopping centre or aged care facility to ensure they are accessible to specific target groups. • Traffic calming to increase safety for pedestrians may be introduced around school areas in order to encourage more children to walk or ride bicycles to school.
Policy and organisational change Policies may be defined as laws, regulations, formal rules, informal rules or understandings that are adopted on a collected basis to guide individual and collective behaviour Organisational factors These are the organisational characteristics of social institutions, and include rules (formal & informal), regulations, guidelines and governance of operation.
Policy strategies • Policies can relate to the governance of incentives, resources and infrastructures for activity or inactivity (Sallis & Owen,1999). • Such policies might include employees being paid an extra $500 per year if they use a gym or personal trainer (governance of incentives), or a principal staffing a secondary school so that at least one physical education teacher is allocated to every 100 students (governance of resources). • See Chapter 2 Nelson PE VCE Units 3&4 (5th Ed) for lots of examples
There are many ways to present this model Adapted from Sallis & Owen (1999)
This model can be applied to specific target groups in this case: youth Source: Salmon, Jo (2010) 'Factors in Youth Physical Activity Participation: From Psychological Aspects To Environmental Correlates', Research in Sports Medicine, 18: 1, 26 — 36
Key skill: apply the social-ecological model to critique physical activity strategies used by government and non-government organisations to target two subpopulation groups. Source: Nelson PE VCE Units 3&4 (5th Ed)
To change physical activity behaviour multiple levels of influence need to be targeted Get students to think about what strategies could be employed at your school within each level of influence
Critique physical activity strategies used to target two subpopulation groups continued… Source: Nelson PE VCE Units 3&4 (5th Ed)
References • Elder, J P, Lytle, L, Sallis, J F, Young, D R, Steckler, A, Simons-Morton, D, Stone, E, Jobe, J E, Stevens, J, Lohman, T, Webber, L, Pate, R, Saksvig, B I and Ribisl K 2007, ‘A Description of the Social-Ecological Framework used in the Trial of Activity for Adolescent Girls’, Health Education Research, vol. 22, no. 2, pp. 155–165. • Malpeli R, Telford A, Whittle R & M Corrie. Nelson Physical Education VCE Units 3&4 (5th Ed) Cengage Publishing • Sallis J & Owen N. (1999). Physical Activity & Behavioural Medicine. SAGE Publications, Inc. California. • Salmon, Jo (2010) 'Factors in Youth Physical Activity Participation: From Psychological Aspects To Environmental Correlates', Research in Sports Medicine, 18: 1, 26 — 36 • Salmon J, King A. (2005). Population approaches to increasing physical activity among children and adults. In D Crawford and R Jeffrey (Eds). Obesity prevention in the 21st century: Public health approaches to tackle the obesity pandemic. Oxford University Press.