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Lecture 10

Lecture 10 - Health and Exercise Psychology.docx

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Health Sciences
Health Sciences 1001A/B
Shauna Burke

Lecture 10- Health and Exercise Psychology What is Psychology  The study of behaviour and mental processes What is Health Psychology  Devoted to understanding psychological influence on how people stay healthy, why they become ill, and how they respond when they get ill o To help them we need to know what is motivating them  Health psycologists study these issues and promote interventions to help eople stay well or get over illness o Must have a multi-disciplinary team to help in a variety of areas  Cognitive, medical and statistical  “Wellness” at the core of health psycologists conception of health o Balance among physical, mental, social well-being  Optimum state of health  Concerned with all aspects of health and illness across the lifespan What do 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 design a media campaign to get people to improve their diets 2. Preventions and Treatment of Illness  Teach people how to manage stress effectively o Better coping mechanisms = better well-being  Help individuals adjust to their illness and/or learn to follow their treatment regime 3. Etiology and Correlates of Health and Illness  Etiology o The origins or causes of illness  Interested in the behavioural and social factors that contribute to health or illness  Can include alcohol consumption, smoking, exercise, wearing seatbelts, and ways of coping with stress 4. The Health Care System and the Formulation of Health Policy  Study impact of health institutions and health professionals on people’s behaviour  Develop recommendations for improving health care The Mind-Body Relationship: A Brief History 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 o Trephination and rituals  When people drill holes in the skull to release the spirits from their bodies th Hippocrates (4 Century)  Father of Modern Medicine  Ascribed disease states to bodily factors o 4 bodily fluids: yellow bile, black bile, blood and phlegm o Believe disease arose when these fluids were out of balance  First to target bodily functions as the cure to disease  Changed thinking about health and disease  “Humoral theory” o Believe these factors had an impact on the mind Middle Ages  Supernatural explanations of illness dominated o Treatment is torture, prayer and good works Renaissance  Growth in scientific understanding and technological basis of medical pracice  Medicine looked to bodily factors rather than the mind Freud (1856-1939)  Rise of modern psychology  Link between unconscious conflict and physical disturbances  Suggests mind controls physical aspects of the body  Conversion disteria (hysteria??) o Presented cases where people that were anxious actually through the voluntary nervous system o If the hand was frozen, their anxiety would subside Psychosomatic Medicine (1930s +)  Linked personalities to specific illness  Bodily disorders (e.g. ulcers, hyperthyroidism, colitis etc.) caused by emotional conflict and patterns of personality  Many of these ideas persist today despite several criticisms o Hard to run controls of experiments when you’re looking at personalities o Some science is flawed o Personality is not the only thing that can influence illness  Laid groundwork for change in beliefs about the relation of the mind and the body Now know that:  Physical health is interwoven with the psychological and social environment  Staying well is heavily determined by good health habits and by socially determined factors (e.g. stress and 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 o One of the many factors that spawned the field of health psychology The Biopsychosoical Model in Health Psychology  Health and illness o Consequences of biological, psychological and social factors  Figure prominently in health psychology research and clinical issues  Mind and body are separate entities Advantages  Macrolevel processes (e.g. social support, depression) and microlevel processes (cellular disorders, chemical imbalance) interact to produce a state of health or illnesss o Changes in microlevel can affect the macrolevel and vise versa  Emphasizes health and illness  Systems theory o Change in one level will effect change in other levels  Practitioners must understand social and psychological factors that contribute to illness Biomedical Model  Illness o Biological malfunction  Governed thinking of most health practitioners over the past 300 years  Assumes a mind-body dualism, is reductionistic o Reducionistic  Reduces illness to cellular level  If you’re healthy you’re not going to the doctor  Emphasizes illness What is Health Psychology Training For? Careers in Practice  Medicine, allied health professional fields (social work, occupational therapy, physical therapy, public health, dietetics) Careers in Research  Research in public health, psychology, medicine  Typically work in academic settings, public agencies, hospitals, clinics, etc. Exercise Adherence  Adherence: o Sticking to or faithfully conforming to a standard of behaviour in order to meet some goal o Looking at what motivates people to be active  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 begin an exercise program withdraw within the first 6 months Determinants of Exercise Adherence 1. Personal Factors  Demographics o Income, education, occupation, age, gender o Males are typically more active than females o Higher income and higher occupational status are more active  Behaviour o Past program participation, diet o Past program participation is the number 1 predictor of future behaviour  Cognitive and personality o Self-efficacy, self-motivation, beliefs, expectations o Higher self-efficacy = more active 2. Social Factors  Social support can come from o Important others  Physician, colleagues o Family o Exercise leader  People that attend group classes  More knowledgeable  Friendly exercise leaders tend to be associated with greater exercise adherence o Other exercisers o Group cohesion  Being united and working together  More cohesive teens work better 3. Situational Factors  Convenience of exercise facility o More likely to be active when facilities are within walking distance  Lack of time o All about priority not lack of time  Climate o People who live in hot or cold climates don’t engage in as much activity as people who live in moderate climates 4. Program Factors  Exercise intensity o Moderate intensity level is best for exercise adherence and maintenance  Social context  Exercise leader  Cost o If something costs a lot of money, the odds of sticking with it is poor Context for Physical Activity  Researchers have sought to identify factors associated with physical activity behaviour including context  The most common contexts for physical activity are in a group or alone outside a structured setting Consideration 1: Individual Preferences  Physical activity interventions have the most potential for success when they are tailored to individual preferences o An intervention is when a researcher creates a program that a person can engage in o In physical activity, a researcher creates a program that people will enjoy and stick with  For middle-aged and older adults: o The most preferred context for physical activity is exercising alone o This is because these people are self-consciou and feel they can’t keep up  For younger population: o Approximately 50% of North American university students are insufficiently active o University is important to establishing a routine and habits for exercising Physical Activity Context: Preferences of University Students Primary Purpose:  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 contexts  Want to see if there was a difference between males and females Method:  Participants o 601 Kinesiology undergraduate students  198 males, mean age = 19.74, SD = 1.35  403 females, mean age = 19.36, SD = 1.19 o Surveyed lots of people  Problems: o Kin students are more active than the general population o Skewed sample because more females than males  Justified this because they weren’t asking about physical activity levels, there was asking about what type the prefer  Measures o Need to know: why they did research and what the found don’t need to know methods o Demographic information was collected (age, gender, weight, height) o Individual preferences:  Participants were asked to identify their most and least preferred contexts for aerobic activity and strength training  Initially only had alone or group but many people thought group meant fitness class so many adults said alone  Options were later changed  Four Possible Contexts for Physical Activity 1. Structures class setting (an aerobic class at a fitness center) 2. With others outside of a structured setting (walking/jogging with others outside or at a fitness center) 3. Alone in an exercise setting (walking/jogging on a treadmill at a
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