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Health behavior


Definition & types of Health behavior Diet Exercise Compliance Patient/doctor Relation

Key Definitions: Health Behavior

Any activity undertaken by an individual, regardless of actual or perceived health status, for the purpose of promoting, protecting or maintaining health status.
A. Preventative

Any medically recommended action, voluntarily taken by the person who believes themselves to be healthy, that tends to prevent disease or disability and/ or detect disease in an asymptomatic way

i. Primary: reduction or elimination of risk factors ii. Secondary: asymptomatic detection of a disease in its early stages

Medical Prevention Examples Immunization against: - tetanus - typhoid fever - etc. Consuming foods that contain A, C, and D vitamins to prevent pellagra, scurvy, and rickets

Non-medical Prevention Examples Eating healthy - eating breakfast -eating regularly etc. Weight management Physical activity Not smoking Wearing seat belts Obeying traffic laws Safe sex activities Safety regulations at work

Key Definitions
B) Protective

that people engage in to protect, promote, or maintain health, whether these actions are medically approved or not

E.g. praying, taking laxatives, cold showers, hot baths, taking mega-doses of vitamins, wearing copper bracelets, eating garlic, hitting yourself on the head with a baseball bat

Key Definitions
C) Illness behaviour
by persons who are uncertain about whether they are well, who are troubled or puzzled by bodily sensations or feelings they believe are signs or symptoms of illness, who want to clarify the meaning of these experiences and thus determine whether they are well, and who want to know what to do if they are not help seeking behavior, responses to bodily signs E.g. seeking opinion from someone who is perceived to having expertise, seeing a naturopath, taking blood pressure at drug store, seeing a physician etc.

Key Definitions
D) Sick-role

undertaken by people who have been designated as being sick, either by others or by themselves

E.g. returning for medical appointments, bed rest, going to physiotherapy/rehab also can include prayer and visiting shrines

Sick Role Mechanic,1968

Certain people respond to stressful life events by entering sick role Societal expectations about how you should behave when sick-stay home, see doctor, act grumpy, be moody, rest, stay in bed, etc

Who uses the Sick Role

People under extreme stress People, who are not well adjusted When people encounter challenge in life Secondary Rewards of sick pay, sick days, sympathy, being cared for Neurotic personalities or low self-esteem may become ill due to social & cognitive aspects of societys sick role

Key Definitions
E) Societal health behavior

society does for the collectivity

E.g. health education, food safety, licensing of professional providers, monitor the environment

Personal Health Behaviors

Link between Personality and Health Certain types due to biology & socialization likely engage in risky behaviors-smoke, drink, skydiving etc These people are prone to disease and premature mortality

Self-Healing Personalities

Zealous: active, busy, confident, productive, hardworking, highly extroverted Relaxed: calm, jocular, droll, active, alert, involved, responsive NO TWO PEOPLE ARE ALIKE

Nonverbal Cues of Personality

Self Healing Calm-even speech Even hand gestures away from body Open, relaxed body Mutual gaze Smooth movements Charismatic & optimistic

Disease Prone Uneven speech Loud, explosive voice Sighs, stutters, ums Clenched fist, teeth Closed body posture Fidgets shifts tapping Shifty-eyed,downcast Facial grimace Vocal gesture impatience Over controlled calm unexpressiveness

Healthy Exercise

3 hours per week (across 3 5 sessions) Warm-up

Stretching and flexibility exercise Strength and endurance exercise Rhythmic exercise of large muscle groups Raise heart rate to moderately high level


Cool down

Heart rate formula is: minimum rate is 160 minus your age. Maximum rate is 200 minus your age.

Why is exercise healthy?

Three psychosocial benefits are:

Feel less stressed and anxious Better work performance and attitudes More positive self-concept Increased production of endorphins Improved agility Improved bone density Improved strength and flexibility

Physiological benefits

Additional benefits of exercise are that it helps weight management. It helps prevent heart disease and some cancers. It boost the immune system.

Cardiovascular Benefits of Exercise

Lowers systolic

and diastolic blood pressure heart rate and thereby helps protect the heart against heart rhythm disturbances LDL-cholesterol and raises HDL-cholesterol (the good cholesterol) The blood pressure benefits of exercise are best achieved by moderate rather than high intensity exercise.

Potential Risks of Exercise

Accidents Injuries Heart exhaustion and heat stroke May become addictive Precipitate a heart attack If using steroids to enhance exercise, number of adverse effects of steroids. Adverse effects of steroids include liver and kidney tumours, heart attacks, and stroke.

Who is more likely to exercise?

Men Whites more than Hispanics and Blacks Young more than old Well educated or higher SES groups Previous exercise history Non-smoker

Who becomes overweight?

About 40% become overweight In women, Blacks and Hispanics more likely to be overweight than Whites. Genetics and familial influences Prevalence increases with age

Why do people gain weight?

Biological factors

metabolic rate Malfunctioning endocrine glands Heredity

Set-point theory

body tries to maintain set weight Thermostat-like mechanism Hypothalamus involved May relate to no. and size of fat cells

Psychosocial Factors
Eat more when stressed Alcohol adds calories to diet and reduces disposal of fat Watching television may reduce metabolic weight rates below normal resting rates

Health Hazard Weight Level

Small risk 10% over ideal weight Moderate risk 20% over ideal weight Greatly increased risk 50% over ideal Distribution of weight more hazardous if concentrated around the abdomen

Healthy Eating
Eating nutritionally balanced meals Poor nutritional balance has been implicated as factor in many diseases:


stomach, pancreatic, prostate, and breast cancer. Hypertension (salt and high body weight) Hypercholesterolemia (saturated fats) Diabetes (body weight, sugar, fats)

Type T Theory Farley, 1990

Thrill seeking Trait Psychobiological need for stimulation due to an internal arousal deficit Need to be channeled into safe heart pounding activities

Communication & Compliance

Good health is dependent on: Whether we decide to seek professional medical help for our illness symptoms How we communicate our symptoms to health professionals

DoctorPatient Communication

During GP consultations: Over 60% of all psychosocial or psychiatric problems are missed Over 50% of a patients symptoms fail to be identified Around 50% of all consultations end in patient doctor disagreement about symptoms

Consultation Guidelines (Pendleton et al., 1984)

Reason for patients attendance needs to be defined Consider problems other than those mentioned by patient Choose appropriate action for each problem Achieve shared understanding of problem with patient Involve patient in management of problem Use time and resources effectively Try and ensure achievement of future goals

Patient Compliance

Patient satisfaction and compliance derives from: The doctor appearing friendly The doctor appearing to understand the patients concerns The patients expectations of success The doctor being a good communicator The doctor providing full and clear information

Leys Model of Compliance

A few notes on lifestyle

Health lifestyles are collective patterns of health-related behavior based on choices from options available to people according to their life chances.
Bourdieu (1984) believed that although individuals choose their lifestyles, they do not do so with complete free will. A part of lifestyle is formed by the habitus.

Notion of a Habitus
Social structures and conditions engender enduring personal orientations that are more or less routine, and when these orientations are acted upon, they tend to reproduce the structures from which they are derived.
(Gochman, 1997, p. 258)

Bordieu found class differences in lifestyle mostly surrounding sport and food preferences.

Bordieus lesson: routines of individuals are influenced by structures of their social world and that the practice of these routines perpetuates the structures
Class culture Food habits

Bottom Line? Strong influence of structure (i.e. life chances) on the habitus mind-set from which lifestyle choices are derived (Gochman, 1997). Lifestyles are systematic products of habitus and become socially qualified.

Self-Efficacy impact on Health

Peoples beliefs about their capacity to exercise control over events that affect their lives. (Bandura, 1989, p. 1175) role in behavior & lifestyle choices which ultimately influence health (e.g. smoking, drinking, risk taking etc.) Plays role in Health belief Model-function of threat & coping appraisal Protection Motivation Theory Theory of Planned Behavior

Metropolitan Height & Weight Tables

Women Small frame 54 ideal weight is 114127 lbs.


Men Small frame 6 ideal weight is 149-160 lbs

frame 54 Medium frame 6 ideal weight is 157-170 ideal weight is 124lbs 138 lbs.