Don’t take that risk

Don’t take that risk

Environmental health


4 hours

„Risky charades”

Duration: around 15 min.

Group size: Any

Materials: Hat/bowl with pieces of paper with risk factors in them

The Facilitator explains to the group that they are about to play charades and the main category is „RISK FACTORS” – without further explanation – the meaning of the topic will be revealed during playing and during debriefing. The Facilitator asks one volunteer to come and present drawn factor. The person who is presenting the factor, must only use their body language or movements, they cannot speak or make any sounds. The person who will guess the password correctly, takes the place of the participant who was demonstrating. The game goes on like that until the last factor is guessed. It is proposed to introduce about 10 factors, for example:  smoking tobacco, drinking alcohol, drug usage, obesity, underweight, unprotected sex, stressful lifestyle, being old, lack of hygiene, lack of physical activity.

After the game is finished the Facilitator may ask following questions:

  • What can the mentioned factors cause?
  • Do you consider these behaviors as the „risky ones”?
  • Have you ever done/ or have been in a situation mentioned during the game?
  • Can you think of different factors?

Hints for the facilitator:

  • Instead of showing you can use drawing on a flip chart.
  • You can help participants if they find difficult to show something, by giving them some hints.
  • Keep the debriefing short, following activities will reveal more about the topic.

1. „What are the modifiable and non-modifiable factors?”

Duration: around 30 min.

Group size: Any

Materials: Flip chart, markers, pens, paper, Appendix 1 (Infographic)

This activity is composed by 4 parts.

During the first one, the Facilitator asks the group what is considered, in general, as a risk factor, as factors mentioned might appear during the exercise. The group should brainstorm and come up with correct answers, which the Facilitator can break down into details.

Next the Facilitator informs participants that risk factors are distinguished into modifiable and non – modifiable factors – and asks the group, what is the difference, between them, according to them. Once participants give the answer, the Facilitator presents the factors and provides details if required.

During the third part, the Facilitator presents all the factors written on the flip chart. List of factors: alcohol, tobacco, substances usage, dental care, healthy weight, nutrition, sedentary behavior, physical activity, sun safety, age, gender, ethnicity, stress, family history, genetics etc. The task is for participants to decide which factors are modifiable and which are non-modifiable. the task can be performed individually on the paper, or together as a brainstorm exercise.

The last part is to divide the group into smaller groups of 3 people and ask them to choose one factor from the list on the flip chart and come up with all the health problems and diseases which can be caused by that factor. The groups must not use the Internet, only information they already have. After max. 10 min., the Facilitator asks the groups to read their answers and check if they are repeated.

At the end, The Facilitator can ask the groups some of the following questions:

  • What are your conclusions from this exercise?
  • What influence factors have on people’s life and health?
  • Is it big or small?
  • What mostly decides about our health?
Appendix 1: "Risk factors"

Hints for the facilitator:

  • Infographic on risk factors (After the discussion, the Facilitator can distribute the infographic to complete the exercise).

2. „Picture it!”

Duration: around 60-80 min.

Group size: around 20 people

Materials: cardboards, crayons, colorful paper, paints, brushes, scissors, glue, magazines, newspapers, devices with the Internet, computer graphic programs

The Facilitator divides participants into 5 teams (or more – depending on the number of group) and asks them to prepare a promotional POSTER/PICTURE/PAINTING/COLLAGE which will show healthy behavior of people which would help to decrease or erase the impact of modifiable risk factors causing diseases. In addition to the poster, they should come up with a slogan or motto which will fully express the message they want to pass through.

The work should be performed using tools chosen by participants – they can paint, draw, cut pictures from the magazines and post them to the cardboard – creating a collage, they can use a computer program. The Facilitator should make sure that they will understand the fact that „Picture says 1000 words”. After everybody is ready, the groups present their work. The rest of participants is asked to share their impressions and opinions. Before closing up this activity, The Facilitator should take a photo of every picture and post them on social media, promoting the „Start now” project. The pictures should be hanged around the classroom, so they stay visible till the end of the workshops. They can also be posted on websites and social media for further awareness and dissemination.

3. „Plan it, do it, live it”

Duration: around 30 min.

Group size: Any

Materials: paper’s sheets, pens

The Facilitator starts by explaining the role of habits in a person’s life, using the quote of Aristotle: „We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”, meaning that the more you do something, the more you are it. Of course, we are certainly more than what we do, we do indeed become what we practice. Therefore, our actions matter, the discipline and devotion are essential to the formation of good, healthy habits that eventually creates our life.

Next, the Facilitator asks the participants to imagine (not share out loud) their life – how they want to live it, what they should change, start or stop doing? What they should do to assure health and well – being for themselves? Participants can reflect for some time, and after a while the Facilitator says that every big change contains small steps, therefore he/she asks the group to think about specific actions, steps they could make in order to improve their lifestyle and minimalize risky behavior which might lead to sickness and diseases. Therefore, the Facilitator asks following questions:

  • What can you do regularly every day to improve your health and well – being?
  • What can you do regularly every week to improve your health and well – being?
  • What can you do regularly every month to improve your health and well – being?
  • What can you do regularly every 6 months to improve your health and well – being?
  • What can you do regularly every year to improve your health and well – being?

All the questions should be presented at once, giving enough time for everybody to answer them, according to their needs. After the process is complete, the Facilitator asks volunteers to share their work with the others – if they agree some of the ideas can be shared on the social media as a good practice and project promotion.

Hints for the facilitator

  • Remember to create a peaceful atmosphere, in which you introduce the group the first phase of imagining their healthy life.
  • Give the group enough time to complete the task, do not rush them – encourage that they will write whatever practice comes to their mind – that will help them to discover new options of how to take care of their life and health.
  • Encourage them to keep the list with the promises as their „health compass”.


At the end, the Facilitator asks participants to share 1 thing that they decide to do/or stop doing from now on in order to maintain healthy life and avoid the impact of modifiable risk factors. The ideas can be written as a list and signed by participants as a proof that they commit to their decisions. It can also be hanged in the classroom.


This activity can be performed with the same workshop group.

Duration: around 2 hours

Group size: Any

Materials: map of the world, cardboards, Internet devices, markers

Hints for the Facilitator:

  • Make sure that groups feel comfortable during the workshop – create nice and friendly atmosphere, by playing some music, offering something to drink and small snacks.
  • Emphasize the importance of healthy habits that have the biggest influence over our lives and it’s never too late to start living better, no matter where in the world you’re pla

The Facilitator divides people into 6 groups according to the 6 continents: Europe, North and South America, Asia, Africa and Australia. The task for each group is to create a map with risk factors (modifiable) and the most common diseases among the continents and its countries/regions. The Facilitator should encourage people to use as many sources as possible and also to provide facts, charts and numbers. The maps of each continent should be drawn on a separate piece of cardboard and after it is fulfilled with risk factors and diseases, all the continents should be connected to create one big map. The world map created this way, will point out the world most common diseases and emphasize dangerous signs.  Ready „maps” should be exposed as a „gallery” – in the organization, during some event that will promote „Start now”, but it can also be posted as a photo on the Facebook fan page.