Promoting good health practices

The greatest description of health promotion is that it is the science and art of helping people improve their lifestyle and shift toward a state of best possible health.  This definition is taken  from the 1974 Lalonde report by the Government of Canada, which featured a health promotion approach meant  for  informing, influencing and assisting both individuals and organizations so that they will accept more responsibility and be more active in matters affecting physical health.  Another definition was the 1979 Healthy People report of the Surgeon General of the United States, which noted that health promotion “seeks the development of community and individual measures which can help to develop lifestyles that can maintain and enhance the state of well-being.

Health promotion has also  been described  by the World Health Organization’s (WHO) 2005 Bangkok Charter for Health Promotion  as the process of empowering  people to boost control over their health and its causes  which would in essence to  improve public health The most important means of health promotion occur through creating and implementing healthy public policies  that deal with the issues and the basics of health such as income, housing, food security, employment, and working conditions. Recently work has used the term “Health” in All Policies to about the actions to encompass health into all public policies. There is a predisposition among public health officials and governments which is especially the case in politically philosophical nations to reduce health promotion to health education and social marketing focused on changing behavioral risk factors

While an independent appraisal acknowledged that some social marketing has previously adopted a narrow or limited approach, the UK has increasingly taken a lead in the discussion and developed a much more integrative and strategic approach which adopts a holistic approach, fits in with the learning from effective health promotion approaches with relevant learning from social marketing and other disciplines.. Such an approach is arguably how health promotion has developed over the years pulling in learning from different sectors and disciplines to enhance and develop. Work site health focus on the prevention and the intervention that reduce the health risks of the employee. Worksite health promotion, also known by terms such as “workplace health promotion,” has been defined as “the combined efforts of employers, employees, and society to improve the health and well-being of people at work”.

The U.S. Public Health Service recently issued a report titled “Physical Activity and Health: A Report of the Surgeon General” which provides a comprehensive review of the available scientific evidence about the relationship between physical activity and an individual’s health status. The report shows that over 60% of Americans are not regularly active and that 25% are not active at all. There is very strong evidence linking physical activity to numerous health improvements. Health promotion can be performed in various locations. Among the settings that have received special attention are the community, health care facilities, schools, and worksites.

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