Physical activity and behavioural change in the Pacific

Physical activity and behavioural change in the Pacific

Presenter: Dr Tahir Turk, Technical Advisor to Australian Sports Outreach Program (ASOP) supporting the Sport for Health project in Tonga

This is a PDF document Tahir Turk - PDF - 13.9.11 (PDF - 2.1 MB)


Non communicable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease were recently declared a ‘crisis’ by a forum of Pacific Island Ministers for Health. Tongan women are highly sedentary and their uptake of healthy behaviours — including participation in sport and physical activity — is influenced by a range of cultural and socio economic factors.

Dr Tahir Turk has been engaged as a Technical Advisor by the Australian Sports Outreach Program (ASOP) to support the Sport for Health project being run in Tonga, and has recently returned from the Stage 1 Planning process.

Dr Turk talked about Strategic Health Communication (SHC) as an approach for designing sport and education programs which aimed to influence behavioural change in targeted populations.

This presentation outlined how the SHC planning approach explores knowledge, attitudes and behaviours of prospective target groups, their gatekeepers and broader environmental influences. This research is used to develop an evidence-based campaign of targeted communication and sport activities.

SHC has a proven track record for facilitating protective behavioural change for a range of health and social issues.