The Discipline of Health Promotion

When it comes to the major I am creating, one of the most interesting disciplines is Health Promotion. The discipline of Health Promotion is vague but can be studied deeply considering all the aspects and concepts that come with the ideas behind Health Promotion even though it is always changing. “The objective definition of “discipline,” and the disciplines themselves are continuously changing as time goes on, making the idea more difficult to define” (The History of Academics and the Disciplines).

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When describing the discipline Health Promotion the main focus is always aimed towards informing society about the latest health trends in order to help the world be healthier as a whole. Creating a healthier world in general is one of the biggest concerns in Health Promotion. The way students in this discipline or major learn about this is by having a balanced schedule of courses involving physical activity, nutrition, health as an over all study, and much more.

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Each course allows the students to learn with hands on approaches. For example, in Physical Activity and Health, students are asked to do labs involving running and walking in order to gather there partners information. This allows students to act as a subject and a tester in preparation for the future and possibly the need to create a health plan for a client. This is all built off of the idea of health promotion. Understanding how to test someone and create a plan for him or her in order to live a healthier life allows that person to live happier and healthier.

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Health also spreads and what I mean by that is if one person is able to promote health and have it stick, then that person is also most likely to talk about it and promote ideas based around health. Everyone wants to be healthy its just whether the information is given and given correctly and that is the job behind the discipline Health Promotion. There are many sub divisions to Health Promotion but as a whole the major concept behind it is to create a healthier world one step at a time by keeping up with the latest health tips and studies.

The Health Promotion discipline has so much content, methods, and epistemologies that create the idea behind healthy living. When one thinks of the word health you might think of what you eat or your activity level. What if health to someone else made him or her think of mental state or even emotional state? This is where the concept health can get vague and when promotion gets brought in, even more vague.

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That is why the idea behind health promotion is to promote or inform people about the aspect of health that pertains to that individual. As someone studying the health promotion field as one of my disciplines, I need to understand the different aspects of health and what they truly are. There are so many areas in health including; exercise, nutrition, healing, mental state, emotional state, spiritual state, sleep, training, relationships, and much more. These areas connect to health promotion through courses taking at Plymouth State.

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For example the courses are designed to relate to one another. There is Principles of Health that relates to almost every single class I am in. This course touches on concepts while my other courses go in depth about those concepts. I think just the repetition of hearing that knowledge once or twice more helps connect the major concept of Health Promotion by that much. When it comes to the methods of health promotion it is hard to describe because methods change while the health information changes. “Academics have been constantly changing based on what society feels is important for the students to learn from the beginning of time” (The History of Academics and the Disciplines). As time changes so do the methods for health. The methods today for health promotion involve organizations, councilors, doctors, events, commercials, and much more. These methods all relate to other disciplines if you really think about it. In order to promote something successfully, how much business or marketing history should you have? I say a lot in order to properly promote. Another area needed for this discipline is communication and verbal ability to explain something successfully. This discipline as a whole is Health Promotion, but honestly how much further can the knowledge be stretched? The answer is there is no length it can’t go and that is why I am so intrigued in this discipline of Health Promotion. “The great aspect of the twenty-first century is that mostly all disciplines encompass aspects of other disciplines creating a multidisciplinary approach” (The History of Academics and the Disciplines). This quote explains so much about knowledge and how far it can truly spread and weave itself through different areas of disciplines. This is one of the biggest ideas I love about my discipline because the connections are never ending.

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There is always more knowledge to learn and connect to the business world or maybe even the science world. Not only is there so much more knowledge out there, but the idea behind Health Promotion is to help people. That is the number one reason I love the discipline of Health Promotion. Throughout the course of Interdisciplinary Studies, my twitter account has excelled in health promotion.

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Between the NAMI (National Awareness of Mental Illness) organization and the Everyday Health accounts, the discipline of Health Promotion is related to every single tweet. The perks to having health promotion throughout a twitter feed are endless. The reason I say this is because every minute there are new articles posted about new studies involving health changes. For example, I just opened my twitter account and within three minutes of looking I found an article posted by Cleveland Clinic discussing how alcohol affects over all health. By following these scholarly accounts on twitter allows me to stay up to date with all the changing health trends and that is the first step of understanding the discipline of Health Promotion. “With Interdisciplinary Studies growing rapidly throughout the United States, students are now able to create their own fields of study by combining many disciplines and making it into their major that reflects their own values, passions, and interests” (The History of Academics and the Disciplines).

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My passions and values fall right into the discipline of Health Promotion because I choose to live a healthy life and want everyone to as well. Having overall health is what makes humans actually happy for a long-term period instead a moment or two. Another major area of the discipline Health Promotion that should be understood is the past and history of it. “The disciplines, where we find a wealth of specific knowledge, are the building blocks of Interdisciplinary Studies. Understanding the past disciplines is relevant to understand the future disciplines” (The History of Academics and the Discipline).

The history of Health Promotion should be understood before future ideas are brought into the picture. Understanding areas of health that have failed in the past need to be realized and new topics need to overcome the areas that have been misleading. The idea behind Health Promotion came into play around the 1980’s but before the health promotion aspect was around there was public health that also needs to be understood. “Three crucial phases are identified.

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The first phase took place during the nineteenth century, a period when promoting good health was part of the broader development of public health measures in the West, such as the improvement of sanitation. The second phase occurred in the early to mid twentieth century, a time when the focus of public health shifted away from the environment as a cause of ill health and began instead to focus on families and individuals. The third phase encompasses the late twentieth century and beyond. This is the period of the ‘new public health’, characterized by its focus on prevention, risk and the environment, and of health promotion as a national and international movement” (Alex Mold and Virginia Berridge). As you can see the history of Health Promotion focuses on the areas needed of that time period. Starting with sanitation because of diseases of that time which led to today; the focus of prevention. The discipline has changed from how to help the disease or problem to preventing it as a whole and that is the best part. Why not study the problems and prevent them before they occur? Understanding the past of the Health Promotion discipline is crucial for the future of the discipline.

 

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The discipline of Health Promotion is truly one of the best disciplines for me to study because it is everything I stand for. Understanding this discipline and the areas it can relate to is crucial considering the real idea behind promoting health. The knowledge that comes with this discipline is relatable to almost any other discipline and that is why I see myself continuing on with learning new knowledge everyday. I cannot wait to see where this discipline takes me in the future as well as what I can learn from it along the way.

Mold, Alex, and Virginia Berridge. “The          History of Health Promotion.” ,       www.mheducation.co.uk/openup/chapters/9780335263202.pdf.

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2 thoughts on “The Discipline of Health Promotion”

  1. This is such a popular discipline now and I work with many students who have an interest in it, and this is a helpful post, since it walks me through so much more of the detail about the content and investments of the field than I normally get exposed to in my role as IDS advisor. You do a good job breaking down the elements of the area of study, and the whole post really highlights your own sense of excitement about how Health Promotion practitioners work to make people healthier and happier. I enjoyed this!

  2. Growing up in a family that is super healthy all the time, eating nothing but fresh foods. Healthy choices when it came to school was a lot harder because they were always promoting unhealthy food like pizza, cake, soda but they wanted us to run laps in gym. Health Promotion is a super interesting topic for me and good luck in the future!

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