Pub. date: 2004 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952576 | Print ISBN: 9780761923602 | Online ISBN: 9781412952576| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Ecological Models: Application to Physical Activity
James F. Sallis & C. Tracy Orleans
Ecological models of health promotion emphasize that health behavior is influenced by a variety of variables operating at multiple levels—ranging from intrapersonal factors (e.g., biological, cognitive, motivational) and interpersonal factors (social norms, supports, and networks) to broader sociocultural and organizational influences and macrolevel policy and environmental influences. Ecological models imply that behavior change interventions are more likely to be effective if they operate on multiple levels: combining “downstream” individually oriented interventions with “mainstream” interventions that reach entire populations through work sites, health plans, schools and communities, and “upstream” policy and environmental changes that work at the broadest possible levels to strengthen the norms, supports, and opportunities for healthful behaviors. Ecological models have helped health behavior change researchers understand the need for multilevel broad-spectrum health promotion strategies, and the models have brought the power of environmental and policy interventions working at the institutional, community, and broadest societal levels into sharper focus. ...