Despite being in the healthcare profession, many of us fail to make
consistent, healthy choices. Research evaluating the physical activity
behavior, fitness, knowledge, and use of behavior modification
techniques by internal medicine residents revealed below-average fitness
levels and inadequate knowledge sufficient for patient counseling for a
majority of participants (Rogers et al., 2006). Similarly, only 21% of
polled female physicians reported practicing monthly breast
self-examinations (Frank, Rimer, Brogan, & Elon, 2000).
Efforts to promote health may be improving in the workplace.
Increasingly, occupational health departments are adopting a
wellness-promotion approach. The importance of promoting healthy work
habits and healthy lifestyle choices has resulted in an increased
recognition of the need to focus on a workplace culture to address
primary and secondary prevention strategies (Yassi, 2005).
How often do you participate in activities that promote health,
reduce disease risk, or support early detection? Do you consider
yourself a good role model for making healthful choices? Consider your
own lifestyle choices, your motivation for change, your risk factors,
and the efforts being made by your employer to see what you can do to
promote healthful choices for you and those around you.
Frank, E., Rimer, B.K., Brogan, D., & Elon, L. (2000). U.S.
women physicians’ personal and clinical breast cancer screening
practices. Journal of Health and Gender-Based Medicine, 9, 791-801.
Rogers, L.Q., Gutin, B., Humphries, M.C., Lemmon, C.R., Waller,
J.L., Baranowski, T., et al. (2006). Evaluation of internal medicine
residents as exercise role models and associations with self-reported
counseling behavior, confidence, and perceived success. Teaching and
Learning in Medicine, 18, 215-221.
Yassi, A. (2005). Health promotion in the workplace–The merging of
the paradigms. Methods of Information in Medicine, 44, 278-284.
Marcella Williams, RN, MS, AOCN[R]