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Using an Ecological Approach

Becoming and remaining physically active is not always a matter of individual choice. Many factors shape a person’s ability to be active. Some of these factors can be controlled, others cannot. Some factors make it easier to be active; some make it more difficult.

Research shows that the long-term success of physical activity programs relies on reaching people in various ways (Sallis et al, 2006). To ensure physical activity is accessible to Man in wheelchair strength trainingeveryone, it needs to be promoted in a variety of ways so it reaches a variety of groups—especially groups that are at-risk of inactivity. Strong leadership, inclusive policies, and program supports are needed to ensure that programs are truly accessible.

When you consider the variety of factors affecting an individual’s participation in physical activity, you are using an ecological approach. This approach will help you create an environment that supports physical activity for people of all ages, abilities, and cultures.

To learn more about the factors considered in an ecological approach, choose one of the following: