E.S. Sadovnikov, associate professor, Ph.D. Volgograd state university, Volgograd

Key words: healthy way of life, skill, health care subject, degree of freedom, coordination.

Introduction. Over the past years the Russian government has developed the social services commissioning on the formation of the skill of a healthy way of life (HWL) among the people of the country [5]. Despite the fact that HWL as a scientific category is very frequent in the literature, the lack of works devoted to the conditions of the skill formation is noted. Meanwhile, in the world practice under the auspices of the UN HWL serious activity is being carried out on prevention of social diseases and promotion of HWL (UNAIDS), based on the life-skills approach (life skills). The program “Life skills” being realized among the preventive measures of the organization Life Skills International in more than 30 countries teaches young people, develops their behavioral skills, responsible attitude to their health and high resistance to negative and deviant behavior and provides for the dissemination of their experience around the world, consulting of governmental and non-governmental organizations, educational institutions, expert training and performance evaluation of various programs of HWL. However, despite the large amount of practical work, the concept of the skill has not yet been defined and determines different phenomena: competence level, knowledge and skills, conditioning behavior, automatisms and patterns.

The purpose of the study was to define the conditions and mechanisms of formation of the skill of healthy way of life via optimization of human recreational activity.

Materials and methods. The main research methods involved abstracting (idealization, planning, allocation of essential foundations; experimenting with schemes and models (checking of the richness of content, meaningfulness and practicality) and logical-historical analysis. As studying, designing and implementing of the basic schemes and models in various recreational situations were the main methods of theoretical research, this work is one of the integral stages of the study.

Results and discussion. Behaviorism, the socio-cognitive theory and the social impact theory are the theoretical-methodological basis of life-skills. B. Skinner considered skills within the behavioristic approach as an invariant behavior set supported by the environment. A. Bandura uses role models in the socio-cognitive theory while forming skills. The representatives of the social influence theory (P. Nelson-Jones, L. Hjeller, D. Ziegler) analyze the negative impact of social institutions on formation of healthy way of life and develop technologies of positive influence via prevention programs. The stimulus-response learning theory (M. Hall, D. Dоllаrd, N. Miller) is in the basis of these three theories and their practical activity.

Developments of modern Russian psychologists in this direction are slightly different from the scientific schemes of foreign colleagues. The traditional stimulus-reactive psychology reveals the obvious connection between the effects (stimulus) and the specifics of the stimulus of individual response (reaction). Russian psychologist V.A. Petrovsky notes: “the hypnotic idea of the stimulus, stipulating for reaction, is an idea, that first enchanted and then averted psychologists by its simplicity and cannot be abolished completely but only replaced by the categorial pair “challenge-choice” [2]. “Challenge” represents the set of perspectives experienced by an individual, one of which is characterized by identically unsettled outcome of conduct. The outliving ability is a result of superposition of messages coming from the outside and from an individual; what is called an experience by V.A. Petrovsky is identical by the form to neither external nor internal conditions and processes generating it. And in this sense, experience is always “over” something that exists inside and outside. It is beyond any conceivable external and internal stimuli in the “stimulus-reactive” activity constructions; experience is excessive related to such incentives.

Unlike reaction, choice as the only possible way to respond to a stimulus, is actualization (preference) of one of possible responses to a challenge and rejection of other ones. Undoubtedly, the challenge-choice situation, statement of over-contextual goals is the result of the individual’s personal activity, inexplicable in terms of “stimulus-response” and requiring the use of other explanatory forms (simulation of individual capabilities, self-imitation, conflict of values, freedom of choice, etc.).

The concept of skill in the Russian public opinion as a factor determining human way of life, finds its confirmation in the works of St. Theophan the Recluse – the heir and successor of the mighty works of the Holy Fathers: “Way of life is made of the aggregate of all such skills, rules and orders...”. This phenomenon is commonly characterized by the peculiarities of human everyday life, embracing his career, routine, ways of spending free time, satisfaction of material and spiritual needs, participation in public life, norms and rules of behavior. In other words, a critical factor is the way of life of an individual (or a social group), the main methods and forms of life, its orientation. Herewith, we should keep in mind that each of the social groups has its own values, attitudes, behavioral patterns, etc. Way of life, considerably stipulated by socio-economic conditions, depends on the motives of activity of a specific person, his mental features, health and body’s functional capabilities. This is what explains the real diversity of the variants of way of life of different people. Way of life is a typical way of living life, and can be rational - irrational; optimal - nonoptimal; efficient – inefficient and healthy - unhealthy. Thus, healthy lifestyle is a way of living life, intended for preservation and promotion of individual or public health.

The traditional Russian interpretation of the skill is found in the Soviet philosophical encyclopedia: “Skill - a system of regulatory processes set in the subject’s individual experience, ensuring steady action performance according to standards”, which has something in common with the definition given earlier by outstanding scientist of the XX century N.A. Bernstein: “... a skill is a coordination structure, representing a mastered ability to solve some kind of motor task”. The system and mechanisms of formation and development of motor skill identified by N.A. Bernstein are of special value, which can be projected on to the issues facing the formation of the skill of healthy way of life. According to N.A. Bernstein, the process of formation and elaboration of the skill “represents an active search for more adequate in all respects solutions of the motor task being mastered...” [1]. Automation is the main characteristic of the motor skill – “diversion of a number of coordination corrections of a motor act to afference of lower levels, most adequate for these very corrections” [1]. The automation period is followed by stabilization acting by consolidating the sustainability of its sides and parts against losing its place”. The automatisms and stabilizers developed in these periods are aimed at coping with putting out impacts in two lines: standardization and stabilization.

As mentioned above, the mechanisms apply to some extent to the process of formation of the skill of HWL. Especially it concerns the definition of motor coordination which, according to N.A. Bernstein, is overcoming of redundant degrees of freedom, transforming into a controlled system. The coordinator of the process of formation of the skill of HWL faces the similar task of making this process manageable, but due to substantive complicacy of the skill of HWL and mental, motor and perceptual skills in its content, reflecting the phenomenon of human subjectivity, substance acts as a correctional structure, which is a subject of concern about personal health for the purpose of health preservation and promotion [4]. This substance can remind the antique “self-care” with its Socratic, stoic and Christian alternatives and determined by its specifics - the transformation of the self-concerned subject, laying the basis of changes in his behavior from unhealthy to healthy type of living life [3]. Adaptive systems can be efficiently coordinated by solving creative tasks (which recreational activity certainly refers to) with the use of the space and time for coordination and search for the ways of application of efforts, left by redundant degrees of freedom in each of the subsystems, transforming them from free to determined ones.

The system usually becomes determined when it is capable of active overcoming of all degrees of freedom, but one. The common general conditions and ways of coping with redundant degrees of freedom are allocated: when solving every task the process of correction is not strictly regulated and changes in respect to a situation [2]. Accordingly, the ways of coordination of their activity are not given in advance, and are being generated while realizing this activity, each subsystem can not limit the number of degrees of freedom by itself. This limitation is obtained via other subsystems. So, the degree of freedom of the kinematic chains of the human body is limited by sensory correction, formation of the image of the situation and the course of actions. Coordination means a mutual restriction of degrees of freedom of each of the subsystems. In its turn, humanity produces various systems of standards, norms and rules, being learnt by an individual, which he follows in his activity, including sensory standards, perceptual and mnemonic diagrams, cultural archetypes, schematisms of consciousness, various taboos, ethical canons, moral codes, social attitudes, personal constructs, behavioral stereotypes and patterns. All these formations are responsible for limiting of the degrees of freedom of the individual behavior and activity, managing single subsystems and their interaction with each other and with the environment and are realized by the type of polyphonic or heterarchical consolidation of interrelated hierarchies, lacking a fixed control center. Such a polycentric character, reflecting the real complexity of development and functioning of the system represents its ability not only to restrict the degrees of freedom, to redistribute relations within it, but also to multiply meanings. This ability is an indispensable condition of its survival. And finally, the subject content and purpose are critical in overcoming the redundant degrees of freedom in behavior or mental activity. In its turn, the ways of overcoming free systems, having been analyzed are the result of formation of various forms of subject’s activity. Their formation results, on the one hand, in minimization of degrees of freedom of the motor, perceptive, mnemonic, etc., systems, and on the other hand, - generation of new degrees of freedom in behavior, action and intelligence [2].

Conclusion. Thus, the skill of healthy way of life is a correctional structure (regulatory system), a conscious skill to take optimal decisions and readiness to comply with them in recreational situations to cope with redundant degrees of freedom in the individual's behavior. Motor coordination is a controlled system of coping with redundant freedom. This construct is similar to coordination of the process of formation of the complex skill of HWL, made of mental, motor and perceptive skills reflecting the phenomenon of human subject character. In this case the personal health care subject acts as a correctional structure, meant for health preservation and promotion. Proceeding from the theory of motion construction and formation of motor skills in respect to the problems of formation of the skill of HWL, its basic condition is an optimal process of decrease of redundant freedom in the individual’s behavior to the level of determined system, when it is ready for active minimization of all degrees of freedom but one. Other conditions of coping with redundant degrees of freedom are: firstly, the situational character of construction of action coordination, lack of strict regulation of methods of action coordination; secondly, inability of subsystems to independent limitation of the number of its degrees of freedom, achieved via other subsystems; thirdly, the designed by people various systems of standards, norms and rules, reflected in perceptive and mnemic diagrams, archetypes, cultural, social targets, personal constructs, behavioral stereotypes, limiting the degrees of individual’s freedom of behavior and activity. Fourthly, single subsystems and its interrelation and interaction with the environment are controlled by the type of polyphonic unification, closely correlated, but lacking a fixed control center.


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5. Decree of President of the RF 07.05.2012 № 598 "On the improvement of state policy in the sphere of public health" // (accessed 04.09.2012). (In Russian)

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