Contemporary Health Issues

Curriculum Guideline

Effective Date:
Course Code
SPSC 2252
Contemporary Health Issues
Sport Science
Science & Technology
Start Date
End Term
Not Specified
Semester Length
15 weeks
Max Class Size
Contact Hours

Lecture: 3 hours/week, Seminar: 1 hour/week


Hybrid: 2 hours/week lecture, 2 hours/week online


Method(s) Of Instruction
Learning Activities
  • Lecture
  • Seminars
  • Videos
Course Description
This course will provide students with knowledge of current concepts in health and wellness. Students will learn how to promote healthy behaviour, build healthy lifestyles and prevent disease. Assessment of personal health status, strategies for how to maintain physical activity, and avoidance of harmful habits will be investigated.
Course Content

1. Health and wellness
    1.1   Historical and contemporary definitions of health
    1.2   Dimensions of wellness
    1.3   The social determinants of health

2. Behaviour change
    2.1   Models and theories of behaviour change
    2.2   Personal responsibility for prevention
    2.3   Roles of attitude, social influences, and self-efficacy

3. The Canadian Healthcare System
    3.1   The background of universal medicine in Canada
    3.2   Role of Canadian health professionals
    3.3   Health literacy

4. Psychosocial health
    4.1   Psychosocial health and its components
    4.2   External and internal factors that influence psychosocial health
    4.3   Roles of Mental health professionals

5. Coping with stress
    5.1   Stress, stressors, and stress reaction
    5.2   General Adaptation Syndrome
    5.3   Techniques for managing stress

6. Personal fitness
    6.1   Components of health-related fitness
    6.2   Basic exercise prescription

7. Lifespan physical activity
    7.1   Physical activity, exercise, and sedentary behaviour
    7.2   Benefits of physical activity and the risks of inactivity
    7.3   Recommendations for physical activity promoted in Canada’s Physical Activity Guide for Healthy Active Living

8. Nutrition
    8.1   Nutrition basics
    8.2   Define malnutrition
    8.3   Food insecurity and the impact on health

9. Weight management
    9.1   Energy balance
    9.2   Risk factors for obesity

10. Understanding addictions
    10.1  Addiction
    10.2  The addictive process
    10.3  Treatments and recovery for addiction

11. Drugs and alcohol
    11.1  Drug use, misuse, and abuse
    11.2  Canada's Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines
    11.3  Canada’s Cannabis: Low-risk Use Guidelines

12. Chronic diseases
    12.1  Heart disease and the risk factors
    12.2  Symptoms, causes, and risk factors for type 2 diabetes
    12.3  The importance of lifestyle choices in preventing heart disease and type 2 diabetes

13. Cancer
    13.1  The cancer process
    13.2  Cancer risk myths
    13.3  The role of infectious disease

14. Infectious conditions
    14.1  Epidemiology
    14.2  Types of infectious diseases

15. Indigenous Peoples and health
    15.1  Issues in epidemiology, interdisciplinary approaches, community, and Indigenous knowledge

16. Health and the environment
    16.1  The relationship between environment and health

17. Healthy aging
    17.1  The biological and psychosocial theories of aging
    17.2  Physiological and psychological changes that occur as a result of the aging process

18. Health consumerism
    18.1  Methods for making informed health-care choices
    18.2  Critically evaluating online sources of health information

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, successful students will be able to:

  1. Define contemporary health and wellness concepts.
  2. Explain the complex nature of social and personal health determinants and how these relate to illness and disease.
  3. Summarize the principles of health behaviour change.
  4. Apply the principles of health behaviour change to a behaviour change intervention that promotes healthy lifestyles and/or prevents disease.
  5. Assess health information and consumer issues.


Means of Assessment

Evaluation will be carried out in accordance with the Douglas College Evaluation Policy. The instructor will present a written course outline with specific evaluation criteria at the beginning of the semester. Evaluation will be based on the following:


Mid-Term Examination 15-25%
Major Assignments 10-60%
Final Examination 15-25%
Preparation and Participation 5-10%
TOTAL: 100%
Textbook Materials
Will be decided by course instructors. Potential resources include:
Donatelle, R.J., & Thompson, A. (2011). Health: The Basics (5th Canadian edition). Boston, MA: Allyn & 

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Donatelle, R.J., & Thompson, A. Health: The Basics (current edition). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.