Positive health-some lay perspectives

Rufus Clarke*, Faye Lowe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Sixty members of a general population (comprising a convenience sample stratified for age and sex) underwent tape-recorded interviews to discover what they thought were the signs and determinants of good health. They were asked to identify the healthiest person they knew, how they knew the person was healthy, and what made (or kept) the person healthy.The responses were transcribed and analysed independently. The younger people identified as healthy tended to be male, and the older people so identified, female. The respondents reported the signs of health to include general appearance, posture, movement, activity and facial appearance, particularly the skin and. eyes. But they also said that diet and exercise, as well as not smoking, and alcohol in moderation, were signs of health.Diet and exercise were also identified as important contributors to good health, although vigorous physical exercise is not a feature of this community. Overweight was not often mentioned, although objectively this is a community with a weight problem. A positive mental attitude and engaging in pleasurable activities were also identified as important contributors to health.From this evidence, changes in diet and the pursuit of pleasurable activities, particularly those involving aerobic exercise, appear to represent the most attractive options for health promotion activities designed to enhance positive health in this community.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)401-406
Number of pages6
JournalHealth Promotion International
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes


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