For the past year I had maintained a consistent exercise regime. Physical
activity was an imbedded part of my weekly routine to maintain a normal body
mass index (BMI), as well as some of its physiological effects, such as a
reduced risk of type two diabetes (Pendeo and Dahn, 2005). When I started in medical
school my environment and schedule drastically changed. This created additional
time and location constraints to my usual regime which I had not accounted for
and soon I had ceased exercising altogether.
Before reattempting to change my behaviour, I questioned what model, if
any, gave rise to my prior success. Although unbeknownst to me at the time, I
was most likely following the Health Belief Model (HBM). At the time, my
sedentary lifestyle had led to an increase in my BMI. This triggered the realisation
of the first two constructs of the HBM; the perceived severity & susceptibility
of a health problem. (Mcarthur, Riggs, Uribe and Spaulding 2017).
I began to search for corrective measures and hence stumbled into the third
and fourth constructs; benefits and barriers to changing the health behaviour (MacArthur,
Riggs, Uribe and Spaulding, 2017). My barriers were knowledge and time constraints and
so I sought the advice of a personal trainer. The final constructs were the internal
and external ques to action as well as demographics (MacArthur, Riggs, Uribe
and Spaulding, 2017). Retrospectively, it
is hard to say what the motivators were but social pressures and my basic knowledge
of the relationship between increased BMI and illness surely played a role.
In order revert to my exercise regime, I have reviewed different health change
behaviour models including the Protection Motivation Model, Theory of planned behaviour,
Transtheoretical model and lesser known Fogg behaviour model (FBM). The FBM is
a relatively new concept being implemented in the mobile application for changing
health behaviours (Dryer 2013).
The FBM suggests that behaviour is composed of three main influencing factors;
motivation, ability and triggers, all of which must be aligned to cause a
change in behaviour (Fogg B, 2009). This
can be further broken down into three core heath behaviour motivators (pleasure,
hope and acceptance) and six abilities (money, time, physical effort, brain cycle,
social deviance and non-routine) (Dryer 2013). In order to obtain a behavioural response neither
motivation or ability can be absent, although one may be greater than the other
(Fogg B, 2009). It is therefore apparent that the relapse from my previously altered
health behaviour was caused by my lack of ability. The final influencing factor
is a trigger which is essential in ensuring that the target behaviour occurs by
creating a simple reminder particularly at a time when ability is increased or by
sparking motivation. (Fogg B, 2009).
The advantage of the FBM over the HBM is that it gives a breakdown of different
behaviour abilities which I found were more specific in helping me overcome the
vague barriers concept in the BHM. The FBM is also different from the BHM in
that it requires the setup of different triggers to try and enhance the opportunities
where its is most likely that the target behaviour will occur. By ensuring time of high motivation and
ability are captured, I would suspect there should be an increase in the
frequency of target behaviour.
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