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Chapter 6.3 - Exercise Psychology.docx

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Health Sciences
Health Sciences 1001A/B
Shauna Burke

Health and Exercise Psychology What is Psychology? - The study of behaviour and mental processes What is Health Psychology? - Devoted to understanding psychological influences on how many people stay healthy, why they become ill and how they respond when they get ill - Health psychologists study these issues and promote interventions to help people stay well or get over illness - “Wellness” at the core of health psychologists conception of health - (balance among physical, mental and social well-being = optimum state of health) - Concerned with all aspects of health and illness across the lifespan Health Psychologists Focus On... 1. Health promotion and maintenance - How to get children to develop good health habits - How to promote regular exercise - How to ... to get people to improve their diets 2. Prevention and treatment of illness - Teach people how to manage stress effectively - Help individuals adjust to their illness and / or learn to follow their treatment regimen 3. Etiology and correlates of health and illness - Etiology – the origins or causes of illness (or health) - Interested in the behaviour and social factors that contribute to health or illness - Can include alcohol consumption, smoking, exercise and the wearing of seat belts and ways of coping with stress 4. The health care system and the formulation of health policy - Study the impact of health institutions and health professionals on people‟s behaviour - Develop recommendations for improving health care The Mind-Body Relationship: A Brief History th Earliest times (<4 Century): - Mind and body considered a unit - Disease arises when evil spirits enter the body - Evil spirits can be exorcised through the treatment process (“trephination” and other rituals) Hippocrates (4 Century): - Ascribed disease states to bodily factors (“humoral theory”); believed these factors had an impact on the mind - Went against the evil spirit theories Middle Ages: - Supernatural explanations of illness dominated (treatment = torture, prayer, „good works‟) Renaissance: - Growth in scientific understanding and the technological basis of medical practice; medicine looked to bodily factors rather than the mind - Exclusion of mind and focus on body Frued (1856 – 1939) - Rise of modern psychology; link between unconscious conflict and physical disturbances Psychosomatic Medicine (1930‟s +): - Linked personalities to specific illness - Bodily disorders caused by emotional conflicts - Many of these ideas persist today despite several criticisms - Laid groundwork for change in beliefs about the relation of the mind and the body Now Known That: - Physical health is interwoven with the psychological and social environment - Staying well is heavily determined by good health habits and socially determined factors (stress, social support) - The mind and body cannot be separated in matters of health and illness - Adequate knowledge of what makes people healthy is impossible without knowing the psychological and social contexts within which health and illness are experienced - Mind-body interaction is one of many factors that spawned the field of health psychology The Biopsychosocial Model in Health Psychology: - Health and illness – consequences of biological, psychological, and social factors - Figures prominently in health psychology research and clinical issues Biomedical Model: - Illness – biological malfunction - Governed thinking of most health practitioners over the past 300 years4assumes a mind- body dualism, is reductionistic - Emphasizes illness Advantages of Biopsychosocial Model: - Macrolevel processes (social support, depression) and microlevel processes (cellular disorders, chemical imbalances) interact to produce a state of health or illness - Emphasizes health and illness Systems Theory: - Change in one level will effect change in other levels - Practitioners must understand social and psychological factors that contribute to illness What is Health Psychology Training For? Careers in Practice: - Medicine, allied health professional fields (social work, occupational therapy, physical therapy, public health, dietetics Exercise Psychology: “The journey of a thousand miles starts in of your feet” Exercise Adherence: - Adherence: sticking to or faithfully conforming to a standard of behaviour in order to meet some goal - Despite the numerous benefits associated with exercise, many people still do not exercise regularly Are people sticking to it? - Majority of the population is not active at levels sufficient to result in health benefits or disease prevention - Approximately 20-50% of adults who begins an exercise program withdraw within the first 6 months Determinants of Exercise Adherence: Personal Factors: - Demographics (income, education, occupation, age, gender) - Behaviour (past program participation, diet) - Cognitive / Personality (self-efficacy, self-motivation, beliefs expectations) Social Factors: - Important others (physician, colleagues) - Family - Exercise leader - Other exercises - Group cohesion Situational Factors: - Convenience of exercise facility - Lack of time (number one reason to slack) - Climate (warmer = the more adherence) Program Factors: (50% of people drop out of their programs after the first 6 months) - Exercise intensity (moderate intensity level best for exercise adherence and maintenance) - Social Context* - Exercise leader - Cost Contexts for Physical Activity: - Researchers have sought to identify factors associated with PA behaviour including context - The most common contexts for PA are in a group or alone outside a structured setting Consideration 1: Individual Preferences - PA interventions have the most potential for success when they are tailored to individual preferences - For middle aged and older adults, the most preferred context for physical activity is exercising alone What about the younger population? - Approximately 50% of North American university students are insufficiently active Experiment: Preferences of University Students (Burke, Carron & Eys, 2006): - To determine the physical activity contexts rated as most and least preferable by university students for aerobic activity and strength training - Secondary Purpose: to determine whether gender influences the preferences of university students for specific physical activity Method: Large sample of first year Kin class - 198 male, mean age = 19.74, SD = 1.35 - 403 females, mean age = 19.36, SD= 1.19 Measures: - Demographic information was collected (age, gender, weight, height) - Individual Preferences (participants were asked to identify their most and least preferred contexts for aerobic activity and strength training) Four
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