PUBH2001 Social And Political Determinants Of Health

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Demonstrate knowledge about key social and political determinants that affect health

Analyse the relationship among the Social Determinants and Health (SDOH), as well as patterns of health inequities both in Australia and internationally

Use theories and knowledge from SDOH in real-world Public Health contexts

Demonstrate the ability of critically analysing Public Health research, evidence, or activities that are related to SDOH

1) Describe patterns of physical activity and give explanations

Australians who are older in cultural and linguistic diversity

Single mothers

Rural men

Explain how the social factors that influence these patterns of activity in this group.

Your explanation should include references to cultural and gender issues.

2) Discuss the role played by social capital in promoting physical exercise

Discuss the concept and link it to other social determinants that affect health in your chosen population.

Examine whether social capital might promote or hinder physical activity within this population.


While the impact of environmental determinants has been extensively researched over the last decade on health outcomes, the data on patterns of influence of these health determinants on outcome is still lacking.

The lack of physical activity is one of the most critical health behaviors that could lead to a wide range of health abnormalities.

Lack of physical activity awareness in a community is influenced by a number of external and internal factors.

But, social capital is the most powerful of all (Caperchione, et al. (2012)).

Social capital can be defined to include any social relationship or connection that exists in the community and that affects the notions of health literacy in the community members. There are many factors that determine the effect of social capital upon any particular health outcome, or any particular health behaviour.

This assignment will investigate the influence of social capital on physical activity, with the Older Culturally And Linguistically Diverse Australians chosen as the population.

Patterns of Physical Activity for The Chosen Population

One of the most important health promotion behaviors that can help you avoid a range of health problems, such as obesity, diabetes, kidney disease and cardiac disorders, is to engage in physical activity.

This paper’s population shows a large lack of physical activity. This is manifested in a rapid rise in cardiovascular and renal diseases in culturally and/or linguistically diverse (CALD), older Australians.

It must be noted that Australia is home to a hugely multi-cultural population as well as CALD migrants. Recent statistics show that Australia has experienced a dramatic increase in migration over the last decade.

Australia now hosts more migrants than ever before – doubling the number in a decade.

As a result, Australia has witnessed a significant increase in cultural diversity and linguistic diversity. The resettlement to westernized cultures of host countries has proved difficult for many ethnic groups.

Recent data suggests that the population of CALDs is extremely susceptible to many health risks and co-morbidities.

There are many reasons for the rising health risks among CALD populations. The most important is the complex process of acculturation. This involves adapting to the Westernized culture in the host country.

Acculturation refers to the phenomenon of people or groups of people belonging to different cultures undergoing changes in their cultural patterns.

It must be noted that there is an alarming lack of physical activity or a substantial exercise program despite the risk of communicable disease.

Data shows that people from culturally and/or linguistically different communities are less likely than others to engage in preventative and health promotion activities. In addition, there is a complete absence of proactive measures for promoting healthy behaviours and prevention in older adults (Kohl, et al., 2012).

A more detailed analysis shows that Australia’s sedentary lifestyle has an extremely high proportion of residents. Around 12 million Australian adults are sedentary and do not engage in any physical activity.

When we look at the older population, 40.4% of them have a sedentary life style. Approximately 57.2% are in the 75-plus age bracket and have a sedentary living arrangement.

Surprisingly, over 80% of elderly people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds live a sedentary lifestyle without making any effort to be more active in their fitness.

It is also important to note that older women of mixed ethnicity are less aware of their physical health than younger men (Vagetti, et al. 2014).

Consider the many factors that contribute to the alarmingly low level of activity in elderly people from multicultural backgrounds. One of these contributing factors is the complex process of acculturation.

It is clear that migrants face a significant cultural change when they migrate. The result is a series of lifestyle restrictions which continue to impact their lifestyles and their health.

The authors found that many older migrants claim to be more physically active than their current home country in many of their extensive research studies.

More details can be found in the fact that the lifestyles of those living in western countries are different from those of migrants who live in less developed countries. This is why many believe the loss of physical activity is a result of this change (Nierkens, et al. 2013, 2013).

The impact of low health literacy, awareness, and socio-economic status continues to be the biggest contributing factor to the health abnormality among the CALD populations.

Sun, Norman & While (2013) state that adaptation to the host culture can be a challenge for older generations. They cite a variety reasons.

First, the generation gap may be a factor that restricts the ability of the elderly to adapt to westernized living.

The majority of survey data regarding the perception of older members of CALD communities shows that most do not understand the complex methods of socially accepted norms in physical activity and therefore avoid adapting to such complicated measures.

The elderly are less likely to be able to engage in vigorous exercise due to their familiarity with these activities (Franco, et al. 2015).

The predicament is also caused by the conspicuous absence of health literacy in senior Australian CALD community residents.

They are unable to participate in preventative and health promotion campaigns that stress the importance and role of physical activity as a preventative behaviour.

Personal perceptions of elderly people living in CAD communities have a significant impact on their health behaviour. The environment, such as green spaces, street intersections and safety statistics, play an important role. Recreation facilities that are within walking distance play a crucial role.

The modernized methods and tools used for daily vigorous exercise do not suit the needs of the elderly population. This makes it less likely that they will have a regular physical program that includes open spaces and walking.

The CALD elderly population is subject to a variety of determinants that can influence their level of physical activity. Many of these factors are social in nature.

Therefore, improving the host country’s social relations can be a powerful way to improve the health behavior of the vulnerable population (Gebel, 2015).

Social Capital’s Role in Promoting Physical Activity

Long after the introduction of right-based health care, the right of good health and well being has not been fully realized in all areas of society.

Discrimination and inequalities continue to be a problem for migrants, especially when they are part of the culturally diverse group.

The assignment paper’s main focus was on the amount of physical activity observed and how it relates to social determinants and health for elderly people who are culturally or linguistically diverse.

There are many factors, both societal and environmental, that reduce the level of physical activity for the chosen population.

To elaborate, we will mention the difficult process of host country integration, lack of health literacy, social exclusion due to cultural barriers, cultural influences on lifestyle patterns, and discrimination that is faced by non-natives.

All the elements discussed in the section on health determinants had to do with the selected population. The lack of acceptance and discrimination continue to be the root cause of the alarming situation.

Social capital can be described as the social interaction between the community and society that helps overcome barriers and promotes healthy living.

In a simple definition, social capital is the interaction of the social and the community networks that can facilitate better utilization of both preventative as well as promotional health care services (Eriksson 2011).

When social capital is applied to health promotion concepts, it provides knowledge and understanding of how social network interventions are designed and executed to maximize health promotion results.

There are many types of social capital that can be applied to the contexts of health. Bonding, bridging, linking and other principles help in mapping community intervention actions to the best interest of the target population. They also aid in equitable distribution of the community network interventions between all target populations.

In the contexts of health promotion, the application of principles on social capital will allow for the conceptualization and streamlining of cumulative community efforts. This will enable a framework that guides the establishment and maintenance of healthy supportive environments for all target groups, and enlist interventions that can help achieve this goal (Ahnquist Wamala & Lindstrom (2012)).

This context must be seen in light of the fact that elderly people from culturally and/or linguistically different backgrounds face the most health care challenges due to their inability or inability to adapt to the society culture in the host country.

Australia offers many physical recreation facilities for seniors to enjoy the variety of physical activities that they have the opportunity to engage in.

Unfair distribution of social privileges can lead to discrimination and social isolation for culturally and/or linguistically different communities.

Due to a lack of understanding and knowledge of the language and lifestyle, the risk of being rejected is greater for older members of the cultural community (Murayama Fujiwara & Kaichi, 2012).

Social capital can be a powerful strategy to promote inclusion and equity within the society. It can allow all age groups to participate in preventative and promotion programs and facilities.

The World Health Organization (2014) states that there is a significant problem with the lack of physical activity among the CALD population. It is evident that women are much less proactive in their fitness and access to healthcare than men. Promotional campaigns and gender-governed inequalities in health care accessibility is the primary reason for the rise in blood sugar related and cardiovascular diseases in culturally diverse women.

Social capital principles, however, are considered to be gender and power blind. This social framework will eradicate any gender biases or discrimination based upon socio-economic status.

Social capital and its rightful usage ensures returns and equity. The bidirectional strategic framework will ensure that equity is established in physical activity facilities for culturally diverse elders. It will also highlight the results. Thus, the community actions will not only focus on the inclusion of culturally different groups but will also be focused on making these facilities or services more accessible and usable for the CALD population so that optimal utilization can be attained (Eriksson 2011).

Let us conclude by saying that most of the influence of environmental factors on the health outcome for marginalized populations is directly or indirectly related with societal variables.

These factors influence not only the availability and accessibility to health care for marginalized vulnerable population, but also the quality of care those communities receive.

The integration of the concept of optimal Social Capital will focus on all factors that drive social rejection or discrimination. This will lead to improved living standards for marginalized people.

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