Assignment Sample on OMED1375 Introduction to Behavior Change in Public Health

Introduction and Aim

Air pollution is recognized as the major global environmental risk to food security and health. In the UK, air pollution is the key reason behind the growth of diseases such as heart diseases, stroke, asthma, lung diseases, and others. Outdoor polluted air caused about 4.2 million deaths around the world and specifically in UK; about 30,000 deaths in a year are being attributed to air pollution (physicsworld.com, 2021). This study explains about strategies related to “Clean Air Movement” in the UK to address the identified health issues caused due to air pollution. Even, Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA) will be considered to illustrate its importance towards health issues and health promotion.

The prime aim of this study is to “evaluate the significance of health promotion strategies and the concept of behavioural change theory on global identified health issues due to air pollution”.

Health promotion strategy

Disease prevention or health promotions plays a significant role that aims to empower and encourage communities and individuals to concise health behaviour, and undertake changes that minimizes the risk of occurrence of chronic or life threatening diseases. Rapid changes are found to be important in order to maintain clean air and minimise the health issues raised by air pollution. Elimination of car journeys, utilisation of electric vehicles, slashing industrial emission, restriction in purchasing products that creates air pollution and others can serve as beneficial to minimise the intensity of air pollution. These changes are found to be highlighted in the health promotion strategy namely “The Clean Air Movement”. It has been identified that clean air is important for health and it helps to improve the wellbeing of the planet as well. Considering the strategy, it includes some clean air projects such as “Build Back Cleaner Air”, “The Clean Air Hub”, “Clean Air Day”, “Clean Air Hospital Framework” that enhances the chance to minimise the intensity level of air pollution in the UK in the future (globalactionplan.org.uk, 2021).

For instance, “Clean Air Day” is the largest campaign related to air pollution in UK that involves different communities, educational, businesses and health sectors for improving idea of the public towards air pollution. Thus, the identified strategy can serve as beneficial for reducing the health issues raised by air pollution globally and in the UK effectively in the future.

Behaviour change theory

Theory of reasoned actions

The theory of reasoned action states that the behaviour of an individual or the changes that takes place is largely affected by the intentions that they develop (Nisson and Earl, 2020). Hence, in this regard, widespread awareness in community and society can be one of the factors that might bring changes to individual behaviour. Therefore, it has been seen that the increasing number of awareness campaigns regarding clean air has had a major influence on people, which has helped to bring changes among people at individual level. Due to the increasing awareness, campaigns held by various Government and Non-government bodies, people became more aware of the necessity and importance of clean air. Hence, the theory of reasoned action reflects upon the reasoning capability of individuals, which influences their behaviour and action for creating changes and improvements in society (Yzer, 2017).

Justification

Behavioural changes are quite important for the Global action on clean air. It is necessary to achieve changes at individual levels in the society, which can help in achieving a better and more responsive change in the society. Based on the theory of reasoned actions it can be stated that if the number of health promotion campaigns and movements related to the importance and necessity of clean air is increased then changes among the people living in the society are bound to take place (LaCaille, 2020). Every individual living in the society contributes a certain percentage of carbon footprints. Therefore, bringing changes in the behaviour of the people living in the society can help in achieving a collaborative effort, which would reduce the total amount of carbon footprints, and air pollution that is released from the combined society.

Critique

Achieving small changes at individual levels can help to achieve bigger changes at the end. For instance, if every individual living in a society consisting of 1,000 people plans to reduce the use of one plastic bag each day, then in one month the entire society would be able to reduce the use of 30,000 plastic bags in that particular month. This is a small example of how behavioural changes at individual levels can help in creating larger changes in society. Similarly, if individuals were encouraged to use public transport instead of their own personal vehicles, then the number of vehicles running on fossil fuel would significantly decrease. One public bus can carry 30 passengers that are equal to reducing 30 individual vehicles on road (Niamir et al. 2018). Hence, based on the theory of reasoned actions, when more and more people would see others participating in such change they would also join the movement. This is because an individual’s behavioural beliefs and the motivation to comply would be triggered with the changing society. This would also change the subjective norms and attitude of an individual, compelling them to develop intentions that would create behavioural changes, and in this case for the betterment of the society by achieving clean air (Hagger et al. 2018). This is how the theory of reasoned action can be put to use for achieving creating a positive change in society in terms of achieving clean air.

Conclusion

The discussion above states how changes in behaviour can help in successfully implementing health promotion strategies. The aims of the health promotion strategy reflect how changing clean air can help in benefiting the entire society on a global level. Based on this the theory of reasoned actions has been discussed. The theoretical underpinnings reflect how increasing the number of social awareness campaigns and the changes among individuals in the society can help in bringing changes in others. Justifications and critiques based on evidence on how changes at individual’s levels can help in achieving the objectives of health promotion strategy have also been depicted.

References

globalactionplan.org.uk, 2021. The Clean Air Movement. Available at: https://www.globalactionplan.org.uk/clean-air/about-clean-air#:~:text=Coordinated%20by%20Global%20Action%20Plan,tackle%20air%20pollution%2C%20helping%20to [Accessed on 4 March 2021]

Hagger, M.S., Polet, J. and Lintunen, T., 2018. The reasoned action approach applied to health behavior: Role of past behavior and tests of some key moderators using meta-analytic structural equation modeling. Social Science & Medicine, 213, pp.85-94.

LaCaille, L., 2020. Theory of reasoned action. Encyclopedia of behavioral medicine, pp.2231-2234.

Niamir, L., Filatova, T., Voinov, A. and Bressers, H., 2018. Transition to low-carbon economy: Assessing cumulative impacts of individual behavioral changes. Energy policy, 118, pp.325-345.

Nisson, C. and Earl, A., 2020. The theories of reasoned action and planned behavior. The Wiley Encyclopedia of Health Psychology, pp.755-761.

physicsworld.com, 2021. UK air is cleaner but challenges remain. Available at: https://physicsworld.com/a/uk-air-is-cleaner-but-challenges-remain/ [Accessed on 4 March 2021]

Yzer, M., 2017. Theory of reasoned action and theory of planned behavior. The International Encyclopedia of Media Effects, pp.1-7.

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