What you do every day matters: A new direction for health promotion Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Canadian health promotion campaigns directed towards healthy living have traditionally emphasized discrete behaviours that influence health and wellbeing, such as diet, physical activity and smoking. Although this traditional approach is important and supported by evidence, it does not account for broader determinants of health. The purpose of this commentary is to propose an innovative health promotion approach that expands the healthy living discourse through a focus on patterns of daily activity. We highlight four key public health messages derived from a synthesis of existing research evidence. The messages are based on the premise that what you do every day has an important impact on health and well-being. Rather than being prescriptive or outlining minimum requirements, this approach invites reflection on various experiences and activity patterns that shape the health and well-being of individuals and communities. This broader and more inclusive approach to healthy living reflects diverse needs and experiences, making it relevant and attainable for people of all ages and abilities. Future efforts directed at operationalizing the key messages for individuals and communities hold much promise for populations that may be at risk of activity patterns believed to contribute to poor health and well-being.

publication date

  • March 2016