Physical Health Promotion through Modern Technologies: Challenges to Concerns

Physical Health Promotion through Modern Technologies: Challenges to Concerns

Sandul Yasobant (Indian Institute of Public Health Gandhinagar, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9494-1.ch014


Health promotion and the maintenance of the quality of life are realized recently. Advancement in technologies offer new possibilities for both the promotion of positive health behaviors that were unimaginable even a decade ago. Though promoting physical activity has been proven an important component of health promotion by many researchers, still a lot of efforts on how to improve physical activity being provided by group of researchers. Technology such as pedometers, accelerometers, and heart rate monitors have been used to promote physical activity for years. Newer technologies such as global positioning system (GPS), geographic information systems (GIS), interactive video games, and persuasive technology, Internet-based physical activity interventions have been used recently to promote and change exercise behavior. This chapter seeks to provide a complete insight of technologies used to changing health behaviors especially physical health promotion and will take a forward to analyses all the issues while using these technologies and future research directions.
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1. Introduction

1.1 Life Style and Health

Quality of Life as individuals’ perception of their position in life in the context of the culture and value systems in which they live and in relation to their goals, expectations, standards and concerns. It is a broad ranging concept affected in a complex way by the person’s physical health, psychological state, level of independence, social relationships, personal beliefs and their relationship to salient features of their environment (De Vries & Van Heck, 1997).The significance of quality of life and well-being as a public health concern is not new. Since 1949, the World Health Organization (WHO) has noted that health is “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely an absence of disease and infirmity” (WHO, 1946). Life expectancy and causes of death have traditionally been used as key indicators of population health. While these indicators provide critical information about the health status of populations, they do not offer any information about the quality of the physical, mental, and social domains of life. Increasing life expectancy has also highlighted the need for other measures of health; especially those that capture the quality of the years lived. In 2005, WHO recognized the importance of evaluating and improving people’s quality of life in a position paper (WHOQOL, 2005). Because people are living longer than ever before, researchers have changed the way they examine health, looking beyond causes of death and morbidity to examine the relationship of health to the quality of an individual life. By selecting a lifestyle, an individual tries to maintain and promote his/her health and avoid diseases through having a proper diet, rest/activity, exercising, controlling body weight, not smoking and drinking alcohol and immunizing body against diseases; this set of activities constitutes the lifestyle. Health requires promoting healthy lifestyle (Tol, Tavassoli, Shariferad, & Shojaeezadeh, 2013). It is essential to promote and correct lifestyle in order to maintain and promote health. Promoting health and providing public health are of the most important bases for the development of communities (Seyed Nozadi, 2002).

Key Terms in this Chapter

HT: Health Technology refers to the application of organized knowledge and skills in the form of devices, medicines, vaccines, procedures and systems developed to solve a health problem and improve quality of lives.

QOL: Quality of Life (QOL) is the general well-being of individuals and societies.

WHO: World Health Organization (WHO) is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends.

MHealth: Mobile Health, the a term used for the practice of medicine and public health supported by mobile devices and wireless technology.

GIS: Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is a system designed to capture, store, analyze, manage, and present all types of spatial or geographical data.

PA: Physical Activity (PA) is defined as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that requires energy expenditure.

SWOT: Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threat Analysis (SWOT) is a structured planning method used to evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats involved in a project or in a business venture.

PHP: Physical Health Promotion (PHP) is the process of enabling people to increase control over, and to improve their physical health.

DDR: Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) is the pioneering series of the rhythm and dance genre in video games; in which players stand on a “dance platform” or stage and hit colored arrows laid out in a cross with their feet to musical and visual cues.

SMS: Short Message Services (SMS) is a text messaging service component of phone, Web, or mobile communication systems. It uses standardized communications protocols to allow fixed line or mobile phone devices to exchange short text messages.

NCD: Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD), is a medical condition or disease that can be defined as non-infectious and non-transmissible among people. NCDs can refer to chronic diseases which last for long periods of time and progress slowly.

GPS: Global Positioning Systems (GPS) is a space-based satellite navigation system that provides location and time information anywhere on or near the Earth.

ALIVE: A Lifestyle Intervention via E-mail (ALIVE) is a free online program, available to you for a limited amount of time, to support you in meeting your personal goals to live a healthier lifestyle.

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