How do you get young men from technical schools to lead healthy lives?
Young men live life dangerously. Young men in vocational training programs especially, show an unfortunate tendency to engage in risky behavior. They smoke excessively, drink excessively, exercise too little and have unprotected sex. In fact, there have been several cases where employers have complained that the students could not finish their apprenticeships because of poor physical health. The Board of Health (Sundhedsstyrelsen) has developed a program, targeting young men and their risk and health behavior. The outcome of this development is called The Scoretest.
The Scoretest was an 8-10-week course that started and ended with physical tests, which took place in the schools. The physical test consisted of a fitness test as well as weighing and measuring. The tests were meant to demonstrate whether participating in the Scoretest made a difference for the youngsters.
After the initial test, the students had to continue the program online on the website scoretesten.dk. The students had to log on to the site and answer a series of questions regarding their health and well-being as well as enter data from the physical tests. Based on the test results and answers, each participant was awarded a number of points, which became an index. They were also granted the opportunity to choose some areas or objectives they would like to improve. Each participant was given advice on how he could achieve these goals. For example, an objective could be to lose weight, exercise more, etc.
The participants were classified according to an index. This meant each could see how they’d done, and how participants scored on average. The site contains unpretentious and humorous elements – it has to be fun to attend. In this way, the index translates into a “babe” who is more or less attractive, depending on how many points each participant scored.
The conclusion was that the young men improved their score potential, or, in other words, they improved their health and well-being. A healthy lifestyle, which not only facilitates individual well-being, but also potentially prevents the decay of an entire generation.