Deakin University
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Applying the Mandala of Health in the Anthropocene

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journal contribution
posted on 2020-10-17, 00:00 authored by G Langmaid, Rebecca Patrick, J Kingsley, Justin LawsonJustin Lawson
Issue addressed:
The Anthropocene is a new era in which human activity has been the dominant influence on climate and the environment. The negative impact humans have on the earth's systems pose significant threats to human health. Health promotion is a discipline well placed to respond to planetary health challenges of the Anthropocene. The overarching aim of this paper is to describe the elements of 21st century socio‐ecological health and apply them in a revised socio‐ecological framework for health promotion.

A qualitative description study design was employed to explore the significance of ecological and cultural determinants of health and review models in contemporary health promotion to inform the development of a revised Mandala of Health. Purposeful sampling was used to recruit ten experts from across Australia including academics and practitioners working at the nexus of health promotion, environmental management and sustainability. Data were analysed thematically, using deductive and inductive methods.

A revised Mandala of Health could address existing gaps in health promotion theory and practice. Ecological and cultural determinants of health were considered essential components of health promotion that is often lacking in socio‐ecological frameworks. Indigenous Knowledge Systems were considered immensely important when addressing ecological and cultural determinants of health.

A revised Mandala of Health could encourage development of contemporary health models, assisting health promotion to evolve with the health and environmental issues of the Anthropocene. This study highlights the need for more theoretical development and empirical research regarding ecological and cultural determinants of health in a health promotion context.

So what?:
In the context of the Anthropocene, this study highlights the potential gaps in health promotion theory and practice in terms of the natural environment and health and emphasises the need of a paradigm shift to embed ecological and cultural determinants with other determinants of health.



Health Promotion Journal of Australia

Article number



1 - 14




Hoboken, NJ







Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2020, The Author(s)