Health Box Project – Rationale
The target group are adults who are socio-economically disadvantaged, with a low level of education and those with a migration background belong to the groups of adults most at risk of acquiring a physical or mental lifestyle disease.
These adults are less likely to participate in traditional health education or to be reached by health information campaigns. A strategy designed to help them to acquire a healthier lifestyle and thus prevent illness must seek to address where these adults may be reached rather than expecting them to visit health education seminars.
Adult educators who work with the final beneficiaries of this project in different contexts need to be made aware of health issues. At the same time they will be provided with ready-to use training materials for health promotion which the trainers can easily integrate into classes on subjects other than health.
Target group of the Health Box project
The project has four direct target groups:
- Adult educators working with the target groups
- Decision-makers and multipliers in adult education, government, social and labour market organisations
- Umbrella associations and networks in adult education at National and European level
- The public at large
Health Box aims at
- Promoting health among European citizen
- Preventing lifestyle diseases
- Engaging disadvantaged adults in lifelong learning
- Developing key competences
The Health Box project promotes knowledge, attitudes and skills related to the prevention of lifestyle diseases and thus enhancing healthy lifestyle habits among socio-economically disadvantaged adults, migrants and adults with a low level of education. These persons are the final beneficiaries of the Health Box project.
This global aim will be pursued by developing, testing and disseminating a Health Box, a set of methodologies, tools, teaching and learning materials adult educators can use in their respective training practice.
The main activities of the Health Box project between January 2010 and December 2011 are
- In a desk researchthe state of the art in health education for adults will be investigated and good practice from which Health Box can learn will be identified. The results of which will lead to the description and analysis of a variety of learning settings.
- On the basis of the desk research the Health Box, i.e. teaching and learning materials on the prevention of lifestyle diseases will be developed.
- After a transnational induction seminarfor the trainers involved, the Health Box will be tested in seven participating countries (Austria, Germany, Finland, Denmark, Romania, Italy and the United Kingdom) with a variety of target groups of disadvantaged learners to make sure the materials will be applicable in various contexts.
- The test results and experiences produced will contribute to the final design and production of the training materials.
- The project will be presented at diverse European dissemination conferences
The main product within the Health Box project is the Health Box itself. It is a compilation of small learning units on the promotion of healthy lifestyle which adult educators can easily integrate in their trainings practice. It includes handouts, short presentations, self-reflection tools, role-plays, simulations and guided discussions as well as small practical (physical) exercises for the seminar room.
Health Box information brochure
The information brochure aims at awareness raising of adult educators about health issues and physical and mental lifestyle disease among disadvantaged learners. It provides basic information about lifestyle disease, how to detect them and how healthy life habits can be promoted in adult education classes on other subjects.
Health Box trainer’s booklet
The trainer’s booklet introduces adult educators, of disadvantaged target groups, to the teaching and learning materials of the Health box. At the same time methodological recommendations for the educational practice will be given.
The definition ‘lifestyle diseases’ includes physical and mental diseases which are mostly caused by an unhealthy lifestyle. Most frequent rated medical conditions are; cardiac diseases (often caused by smoking and alcohol) and unhealthy nutrition (e.g. a lack of physical activity).
Most at risk of acquiring a physical or mental lifestyle disease are adults who are socio-economically disadvantaged, with a low level of education and those with a migration background belong to the groups of adults. A European study results state a correlation between social status and health status; the more people are socio-economically disadvantaged the more they are at health risk. An unhealthy lifestyle and the high rate of chronic diseases also influence the expectation of life; even if there is a difference between social classes.
Special campaigns on health promotion can help reach social disadvantaged groups and support them in using different health services, so awareness-raising in combination with giving information is very important. To change a person’s lifestyle, especially within social underprivileged groups, is a precarious aspect because people’s culture of living may be influenced.
Training of disadvantaged groups
Health promotion offers a wide range of activities related to health and equal opportunities, e.g. health promotion within regional social work or within the framework of integration.
All those projects create settings where social disadvantaged people can be reached in daily life situations; otherwise these groups are often hard to reach. Health Box links to this approach; so health issues are integrated within activities during adult education.
Adequate settings may be labour market orientated training programmes, vocational training seminars, evening classes (on non health related subjects) or any other informal community /social work environments.
The project products are also available in the languages of the partner countries. Please ask for them by contacting us.
Århus social- og sundhedsskole
Università delle LiberEtà del Fvg
Fundatia Ecologica Green
Head bridges to europe
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.
This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.