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Translating health promotion knowledge to self-care: healthy eating and weight management for nurses

Blake, Holly


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Professor of Behavioural Medicine


Promoting health at work is a national public health priority. Nurses are educated in, and practice, health promotion but this knowledge does not always translate to self-care. There are high rates of overweight and obesity in nurses, with implications for their health and wellbeing and potentially patient care quality. Barriers to healthy eating exist at the individual and organisational level. Healthcare organisations and educational institutions should seek to address individual and structural barriers to healthy eating through providing education, challenging social norms, establishing workplace health programmes, policies and practices that support healthy behaviours. Promoting health at work Health is defined here as a state of balance that an individual has achieved between themselves and their environment. This fluid definition of health assumes that a person is healthy if they get the most out of life that they can, irrespective of whether they have a disease or impairment (Sartorius, 2006). Health promotion is the process of enabling people to increase control over, and to improve, their health. While health promotion includes educating people about health and the factors that influence it, it goes beyond didactic health education by targeting not only individuals, but their environments (de Vries et al, 2018). Broadly, it is achieved by improving public health policies, creating supportive environments that contribute to better health (e.g., through incentivisation of healthy choices, and making unhealthy choices more difficult, such as through taxation or restricted access), strengthening social networks and enhancing health literacy (i.e., the ability of individuals to find, understand and use information and services to inform health-related decisions and actions). Promoting health is a dynamic process that occurs at the micro (individual), meso (organisational) and macro (national or international) level (de Vries et al, 2018). The meso level includes workplaces as 'settings' for health promotion. Promoting health through the workplace can include making changes to the physical environment to make healthy

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 13, 2024
Deposit Date Jun 21, 2024
Journal Nursing Standard
Print ISSN 0029-6570
Electronic ISSN 2047-9018
Publisher RCN Publishing
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Public URL