Health behaviors

  • Priya Magesh Mahatma Gandhi University
Keywords: Health behavior, Models of health behaviors


Health is defined as a complete state of physical, mental   and social well-being   and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity [World health organization, 1948]. Defining  health  as  the absence of  illness, health is   recognized  to be  an achievement involving  balance among  physical, mental  and  social well-being.  Physical   health    is   inextricably    interwoven    with   psychological   and   social environment. All conditions of   health and   illness, not just the disease, identified   by   the   early   psychosomatic theorists   are influenced by   psychological and social factors.  The mind and   the   body cannot be meaningfully separated in matters of   health and   illness. This article defines health behaviors as any activity undertaken for the purpose of preventing or detecting disease or for improving health and well-being. Common ways of classifying different health behaviors (e.g., health enhancing, health compromising) are examined. Prevalence of key health behaviors (smoking, diet, exercise, screening, sexual behaviors, alcohol use) in different groups and their relationship to morbidity and mortality is reported. This presentation highlights the role of cognitive variables (such as health beliefs, attitudes, self- efficacy) as described in psychological models in understanding the distribution/prevalence of health behaviors and the use of such models in changing health behaviors.



Author Biography

Priya Magesh, Mahatma Gandhi University

Ph.D. Research scholar Department of Psychology, Mahatma Gandhi University. Meghalaya, India


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