Organisation for Improving Health

The Role of Non-Government Organisations

Non-Government Organisations play a critical role in promoting health at the federal, state and local levels. NGO’s are organisations not based in government and not created to earn an a profit. These NGO’s provide programs both independently and in conjunction with other larger organisations such as AusAID or the UN and the Australian government. NGO’s are very important in promoting global health and sustainable human development as they often work in small local communities and have a very significant impact on the lives of local people. NGO’s can implement small scale projects that can be taken on by the local people, improving their health.

VicHealth Health Promotion Infographic

Target Groups


School-based physical activity interventions employ a multifaceted approach rather than a one-dimension intervention. Analysis samples of the type of intervention that have been adopted in the school setting reveals that most interventions use combinations of social influences, uses strategies to change behavior, provide facilities and in corrupt activities within the formal school curriculum. A school setting has the potential to reach large numbers of children within one local area for a significant portion of their lives. Schools play a major role in shaping children’s attitudes towards physical activity and living an active lifestyle. Schools encourage lifelong patterns of physical activity.


Workplaces are an ideal setting in which to promote physical activity because the majority of the population works part-time or full-time for a significant proportion in their adult lives. Many adult spend a large proportion of their waking hours in a workplace setting. Workplaces bring together large groups of people, who can provide each other with social support, or shear environmental resources. Benefits to employers includes improved employee morale, increased productivity, reduced absenteeism, increased capability for employees to handle stress. Workplace policies and actions include educational strategies, individualized exercise programs and many more.


Community settings can be broadly defined to include groups of people from the same suburb, town, city or country. such broad groupings provide particular challenges in implementing intervention strategies but also provide great scope for far reaching impact on a significant number of people. The diversity within the community can sometimes make it difficult to provide whole-community interventions that are successful in increasing physical activity levels for all.


Walking School Bus

The Walking School Bus program is an initiative form VicHealth to improve awareness of health to younger age groups and schools. The program addresses the four levels of the Social Ecological Model, making this program sustainable and effective. Factors that are addressed in the individual level increase knowledge, improve attitudes to physical activity, enhance behavior skills and involves support groups.

The Walking School Bus program information is found on the VicHealth website, on the website information on benefits of the program, how to start a walking school bus in your area, training needed and fact sheets all help increase individual knowledge. Information nights are held are held at schools to encourage the program. children involved gain knowledge on the importance on physical activity and knowledge on health.

The program success involves community support, therefore the social level of the SEM is addressed very well in this program. Volunteers are needed and this increases networks within communities. The Walking School Bus is done in groups of children from the same school, this gives the children their peers to do exercise with and time to interact socially whilst walking to school. This program provide assess to role models for the children within the group in the walking school bus. This group provides new social roles such as the bus driver, conductor and team leaders for the volunteers.

The factors of the physical environment that is addressed by this program include.

- new signs and walking trails for the bus to use

- removal of barriers such as difficult roads to cross now more accessible for the bus with the introduction of crossing guards

This program forms new partnerships and networks between people within communities and schools. schools enforcing involvement in the program targets change and social norms and beliefs. All addressing the policy level of the SEM.

This initiative is a population based strategy because it is targeting school populations rather then individuals.

This program considers tailoring because the walking school bus considers all locations near the school and insures all can be involved and the rout for walking is tailored for all. Impediments to the program are limited through thorough planning and consideration to all involved in the program. Schools are the main point of contact to starting a walking to school bus program therefore the schools involved offer large support.

Through surveys and interviews this program has had great success within the schools that run it, more people now are walking to school because of the increase in safety for walking to school when they walk with the Walking School Bus . Although now VicHealth do not run the programs and fund them any more they are still been run and VicHealth still offer help in setting up these programs and supplying information.

Students Test Drive Walking School Bus for Dapto Public School - Stockland Residential

Heart Moves

Most people know that regular physical activity is good for your health. But you don't have to exercise at a vigorous level to achieve health benefits. To help, the Heart Foundation has developed a low-to-moderate intensity exercise program called Heartmoves, designed for people who are living with health conditions and people who are not frequently active. The Heart Foundation has a long association with local governments in working with them to improve the health of the local community. Heartmoves, which is a group low-to-moderate intensity exercise program, is just one of a range of Heart Foundation programs which have been promoted and supported by local governments across Australia.

The Heartmoves program considers most of the levels in the Social Ecological Model.

the factor that effect the individual level are having DVDs for sale so that participants can do the program at home without the hassle to find a location where a class will be running at a good time. The website also has lots of information of how the program works and the benefits of doing the program. the social factor are that the groups have a leader and are done with others in the community therefore working together and exercising together helps increase success in physical activity. The physical level addressed by having community areas where the programs run and the heart foundation office as a base for all information about the program. the policy level is not addresses much, the program does target changes in social norms and beliefs.

This program is a very basic strategy to help a major problem of people suffering health conditions. The success of this program in not very clear and the program is not promoted a lot for the whole community. the program only running low to medium intensity activities would not suit to all fitness levels therefor would not be an appropriate program to improve the health and physical activity of the whole population.

This program is a population based program yet it does not help the whole community because it is not available to every one. the program is held in groups therefore attempts to the population.

Heart Moves @ Just Move

Global Corporate Challenge

The Global Corporate Challenge is a workplace health and wellbeing program aimed at changing the behavior and improving the health of employees around the world.

The event promotes 10,000 steps per day as a way to tackle the growing epidemic of an obese and overweight global workforce and reduce the alarming increase in the accompanying Type II diabetes, cardio vascular disease and cancer.

The GCC begins in May each year.

Organizations form teams of 7. Participants receive a starter pack that includes 2 accelerometers. For each of the 16 weeks of the GCC, individuals enter their daily physical activity into the GCC website. Steps are then converted to a kilometer/mile distance, and the team’s progression is plotted along a virtual tour of the world. Participants are encouraged to aim for 10,000 steps per day – the World Health Organization recommended average daily steps for a lifestyle to be considered active.