Health Enhancing Behaviors and New Trends
Health is an indefinite perception. It is derived from a Greek word that means “whole” which is interpreted as “wholeness, being whole, sound or well.” This concept of wholeness is open to broad explanation that can be referred as the individual’s health as well as the health of a population or public.
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In 1948, health was defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or in?rmity.” (Spark, Dinour; Obenchain, 2015)
The physical and socio-economic environment, in which we sit or move within, is rapidly changing circumstances of our daily lives. These alterations in transportation, communications, places of work and technologies for amusement have remarkably reduced demands for physical activity. However, this decrease in the physical activity due to environmental setup is related with health-affecting behavior or lifestyle changes.
The word sedentary is derived from the Latin word sedere, which means “to sit”. Sedentary behaviors include sitting during shuttling, in the place of work and the home, and during resting time. The energy-expenditure range of watching TV, using computer, or travelling in an automobile usually are in 1.0 to 1.5 METs (multiples of the basal metabolic rate). Therefore, sedentary behaviors are those that include sitting and low levels of energy expenditure.
Contrarily, medium-to-energetic physical activity for example bicycling, swimming, walking, or running may be completed in a various position of body, but need an energy expenditure of 3 to 8 METs. In this viewpoint, light intensity activity behaviors are those done while standing, but that involves expenditure of no more than 2.9 METS. Inactive or sedentary behaviors (usually in frame of reference of watching TV, surfing on computer, laptop, tablet or cellphones and play stations, workplace sitting, and time spent in automobiles) have arisen as a new emphasis for investigation on physical activity and health.
The researcher showed, initial findings on the metabolic associates of elongated time of watching TV have since been assured by current objective-measurement studies, which also demonstration that eliminating the time we spend inactive can be beneficial towards health. Furthermore, the researcher elaborated current studies from Canada, Australia, and the United States, which illustrate probable associations between sedentary behaviors with premature mortality.
Significantly, grown-ups can encounter public-health strategies on physical activity, but if they continued to pursue sedentary lifestyle, their metabolic health is at risk. However, it can be resolved yet with a high degree of assurance that these adverse effects on health are exclusively due to inactivity most of the time in a day, or if what has been witnessed so far can be clarified by too little, light, medium, and/or energetic activity.
The modern guidelines for grown-ups on Physical Activity and Public Health from the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association “clearly states that the advised duration of aerobic activity (either of medium- or energetic) besides routinely activities of a day are of low frequency, such as self-care, casual walk or going to market place, or less than 10 min of period such as walking to the parking lot or taking out the garbage”. Logically, performing various routine activities like this could play a role in scaling down the inactive time.
According to the researchers argument sedentary behavior is not merely the absence of medium-to-energetic physical activity, but preferably is a distinctive set of activities, with distinctive environmental factors and a range of possibly exclusive health outcomes. It may have an impact on Obesity and other metabolic precursors of major chronic diseases including Type 2 diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease, and Breast and Colon Cancer. (Owen, Healy, Matthews, ; Dunstan, 2010)
Various researches have studied the connection between health behaviors and health outcomes and have explained their contribution in both morbidity and mortality.
In the first study related to that, seven characteristics of lifestyle were recognized which were linked with lesser morbidity and greater successive long-standing persistence include: not smoking, moderate alcohol consumption, sleeping up to 7–8 hour minimum, exercising on a regular basis, keeping up an ideal body weight, cutting off snacks, and eating breakfast on a regular basis.
Health behaviors also have an influence upon a person’s quality of life, by postponing the beginning of chronic disease and prolonging dynamic lifetime. Smoking, intake of alcohol, diet, breaks in primary care services and low screening uptake are all important factors of poor health, and alteration in such behaviors should prompt better-quality health. For example, in the USA, Healthy People 2000 lists greater physical activity, alteration in nutrition and decrease in tobacco, alcohol and drug usage, significant in health promotion and disease prevention.
Four healthy lifestyle characteristics (HLCs) are as follows:-
- Healthy weight
- Fruit and vegetable consumption and Regular physical activity
- No or low alcohol consumption (Conner & Norman, 2005)
Health behaviors are activities carried out by people to improve or keep up their health. Health practice is a health behavior that is strongly developed and frequently executed automatically, without being aware. These habits are generally established from infancy and start to stabilize near 11 or 12 years of age. Wearing a seat belt, brushing teeth, and eating a nutritious diet in frequent small meals are examples of these types of behaviors.
Even though a health habit may establish early because it is reinforced by positive consequences, such as parental authorization, it consequently becomes free from the reinforcement process. For example, you may brush your teeth unconsciously before going to sleep. As such, habits can be highly sturdy to change. As a consequence, it is significant to developed good health behaviors and to eradicate poor ones in childhood. A demonstration of the significance of good health habits was provided by a study of people living in Alameda County, California, carried out by Belloc and Breslow. These scientists imposed on numerous vital health practices:
- Sleeping 7 to 8 hours a night
- Not smoking
- Eating breakfast each day
- Having no more than one or two alcoholic drinks each day
- Getting regular exercise
- Not eating between meals
- Being no more than 10 percent overweight (Taylor, 2015)
Freudenberg proposes following 10 ways, some corresponding, to encourage health, particularly in city areas but also applied to suburban, ex-urban, and rural settings:-
- Give access to quality primary care.
- Increase health knowledge (this, presumably, would contribute to the next point).
- Reduce risky behaviors.
- Increase social support
- Reduce stigma and marginalization.
- Advocate health-promoting policies.
- Improve urban physical environments
- Meet basic needs
- Create supportive social environments
- Reduce income inequality (Spark et al., 2015)
It is not clear whether the worldwide increase in weight complications in children is the result of abundant energy consumption and lesser energy expenditure. Methodological restrictions have made it hard to evaluate. There is proof that at least part of the issue may lie within increasing energy intake, but it is significant to study the other side of the energy equation too.
Though, it is impossible to decisively elaborate physical activity trends because of the lack of appropriate baseline data. One solution is to summate all existing proof in as many areas of routine activities as possible and then deduce preliminary inferences. This review sums up existing trend data on direct depictions of physical activity in a range of perspectives, collectively with indirect measures such as sedentariness, fitness, and approaches.
The results inferred are: physical activity in obviously distinct perspectives such as active transport, physical education in school, and organized sports is declining in many countries; young people would like to be active but are often refrained by environmental factors such as rules and regulations of school, parental concerns in relation to safety and convenience, and physical environmental factors. (Dollman, Norton, & Norton, 2005)
Socio-ecological models that explain the interactive features of individuals and surroundings that underlie health consequences have long been suggested to lead public health practice. The degree, to which such references have been applied in promoting health interventions, is still uncertain.
The authors established a coding system to classify the ecological levels that health promotion programs approach and then applied this system to 157 intervention articles from the past 20 years of Health Education & Behavior. Overall, articles were more likely to specify interventions that imposed on individual and interpersonal factors, despite of institutional, community, or policy factors.
Interventions that focused on specific topics such as nutrition and physical activity or occurred in certain settings (schools) more effectively accepted a social ecological target. Health education theory, research, and training may need to be improved to promote better efficacious struggles to alter social and political environments to enhance health. (Golden & Earp, 2012)
- Conner, M., & Norman, P. (2005). Health Behaviors: Predicting health behaviors: Research and practice with social cognition models. Berkshire: Open University Press.
- Dollman, J., Norton, K., & Norton, L. (2005). Evidence for secular trends in children’s physical activity behaviour. Br J Sports Med, 39(12), 892-897; discussion 897. doi: 10.1136/bjsm.2004.016675
- Golden, S. D., ; Earp, J. A. L. (2012). Social Ecological Approaches to Individuals and Their Contexts:Twenty Years of Health Education ; Behavior Health Promotion Interventions. Health Education ; Behavior, 39(3), 364-372. doi: 10.1177/1090198111418634
- Owen, N., Healy, G. N., Matthews, C. E., ; Dunstan, D. W. (2010). Too much sitting: the population-health science of sedentary behavior. Exercise and sport sciences reviews, 38(3), 105.
- Spark, A., Dinour, L. M., ; Obenchain, J. (2015). Nutrition in public health: principles, policies, and practice: CRC Press.
Taylor, S. E. (2015). Health psychology.