Study of the social, behavioral and environmental aspects of health behavior and the relationship between health behavior and the community and the society in which people live will provide students with useful information for their lives. Have you ever thought about how much you want to live a long and healthy life? If you said yes, what is your plan? Do you know that people in many of the countries we will visit live longer than Americans? In this course, we will focus on examining what motivates people to practice healthy behaviors. We will examine our own commitment to healthy behaviors and observe and listen to people in the countries we visit to see what we can learn from them. We will consider how transportation influences healthy behaviors, and we will look at the “built” environment in our ports to see how people interact with the environment to support health. The foods we will enjoy in the ports will provide useful information about how to engage in healthy behaviors. As we go around the world, we will learn from people in other cultures about their nutrition, exercise, and commitment to health. There will be a “take home” message for each of us about health promotion from our voyage.
Hong Kong is an “electrifying and vibrant city” where students will be able to see people practicing health promotion in the parks of Kowloon and Hong Kong Island. The beautiful Kowloon Park with its bronze sculptures is often the site of many local practitioners of Tai Chi, and the students will begin their health promotion journey there. Next the class will take the famous Star Ferry to Hong Kong Island and visit Hong Kong Park which is a beautiful park nestled beneath towering bank and other commercial buildings that are familiar sites in the Hong Kong landscape. The visit to the park will be to see the memorial that honors the memory of nurses and physicians who died when SARS suddenly occurred in Hong Kong and was an unknown virus at that time. Students will have lunch in Wan Chai which is a residential and shopping area popular with both local people and visitors. Buses will then take the class to the Institute for Human Performance at the University of Hong Kong where faculty from the University will talk with them about the commitment that the University makes to the health promotion of their students, faculty, staff and the community. Faculty will also describe their unique research with specific populations in Hong Kong. Health promotion with older adults, victims of domestic violence, and women and children will be discussed by experts in the field. There will also be a session on diet and how to eat healthy and enjoyably. Mr. Kenneth Liang, Health and Fitness Officer, Institute for Human Performance, will demonstrate for the students exercises they can incorporate into their ship board routine in order to promote their health during the voyage.
1. Examine the built environment and how it supports or hinders health promotion. Students would be asked to consider how the structures, walkways, air quality, and population density affect health.
2. Observe how people spend their time: in the park, in the stores, on the streets, while exercising?
3. Observe the transportation systems and consider how they interact with health promotion.
4. Attend discussions with key experts at the University of Hong Kong who will describe how Hong Kong people engage in health promotion. The groups to be discussed will be elders, victims of domestic violence, women and children. They will also visit the Active Health Clinic at the University of Hong Kong and learn some useful ship board exercises.
5. Discuss with faculty at the University of Hong Kong the key health risk factors and the major causes of morbidity and mortality.