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Motivational Support


Some health problems are unavoidable and there are some risk factors for ill health that you can’t do anything about. However, you can reduce your risk of, prevent or better manage a huge number of health conditions by leading a healthy lifestyle.

It can be difficult to change behaviour. There are a number of theories about how we make choices which suggest that social, community and environmental factors are very influential. For example, if your friends make unhealthy choices, you are also likely to or if there are only unhealthy fast food options near your house, you are more likely to choose to eat these kinds of foods. As these factors make up such huge parts of our lives, they can make it difficult to make healthy choices.

Why it is difficult to change behaviour:

There are a number of reasons why behaviour change is difficult – and it is something that we all struggle with!


We can often hold beliefs that influence our decision-making processes and therefore our behaviour. These are as follows:

Perceived Susceptibility Belief about getting a disease or condition
Perceived Severity Belief about the seriousness of the condition, or leaving it untreated and its consequences
Perceived Benefits Belief about the potential positive aspects of a health action
Perceived Barriers Belief about the potential negative aspects of a particular health action
Self-Efficacy Belief that one can achieve the behaviour required to execute the outcome

Our beliefs about each of these factors will influence how achievable or necessary we feel a behaviour is, which will alter the likelihood of engaging in that behaviour.

Often, in relation to health behaviours, we believe that the risks are minimal, or unlikely to happen to us.


Most behaviour is learned. It is thought that some behaviours, such as eating unhealthy food, smoking or drinking alcohol may be learned to make us feel good or help us to cope with stress in everyday life. Habits are formed from a combination of learning, rewards and consequences.

There may be many combinations of these three factors for any given behaviour which interact with each other and the context of your everyday life. This can make it difficult to change the behaviour because there are constant cues for that behaviour. There is also some evidence that habits can make changes to certain brain circuits, making it harder for the behaviours to be unlearned.

How you can change behaviour

Increasing and Sustaining Motivation

There are many ways to increase and sustain motivation.

How Health Exchange works to support behaviour change:

We run a number of programmes that support people to engage in healthier behaviours that will have a positive impact on both physical and mental health. We work from a preventative angle – helping you to make changes before you become ill – but we also support people to manage long-term conditions in a healthy and positive way. We take a holistic approach to health and wellbeing and incorporate this philosophy into our programmes and services.

For a list of our programmes and services click here.

To apply for a programme or service click here.



References for reports and studies are available on request.

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