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why do we behave the way we do

Changing high risk behaviours involves progress through six stages of change: precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, maintenance and termination. Stage-matched programs for cardiovascular disease prevention can produce much higher participation rates than traditional action-oriented programs (80 to 85% versus 1 to 5%). The amount of success following intervention is directly related to the state of change participants are in before intervention. Helping people progress through the stages involves matching particular processes and principles of change to particular stages of change.
You Can Change: Why do we behave the way we do? How do our choices affect our health? What can help us to change our health related behavior? These are important questions for all of us.

In fact, most people can think of at least one health-related behaviorr they would like to improve or change. And, many of us would like to do something about it sooner than later. It is important for people to be successful when changing the things that they do to harm their health. In Canada, more than two-thirds of deaths result from chronic diseases and these diseases share common preventable risk factors or unhealthy behaviours, such as an unhealthy diet, lack of physical activity, unhealthy weight, alcohol misuse, and tobacco use. According to recent research (Klein-Geltink, Choi Fry, 2006) 79% of Canadians have at least one risk factor and 39% have at least two risk factors for chronic diseases. Chronic diseases can not only lead to premature death, but also have negative effects on a personвs quality of life.

Therefore improving health-relateВ behaviorsВ seems to be a sensible and important goal for many Canadians. Perhaps you have been trying to lose weight, stop smoking, or be more active, and you are finding it difficult to change or stick with your plan. You are not alone. More than half (53. 5%) of Canadians are physically inactive, 21. 5% currently smoke, 44. 8 % are overweight, and 6. 0% are high-risk drinkers. Changing your lifestyle can be difficult; however personal health practices behaviorsВ are actions that you can decide to change. r change involves many factors you may not have considered before, including your thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, and feelings. You have to do more than want to change; you have to put it in action.

Knowing how to change isnвt always enough. The trick is to find things and people that can help support your change. There are a number of things that are needed in order for people to change and stick with it (The Health Communication Unit, 2004). For example: You have to make a commitment. You need to have the skills necessary to perform the behaviour. You need to believe the advantages to performing the behaviour outweigh the disadvantages. You need to have the belief or the confidence that you are able to perform the behaviour under a number of circumstances. You need to try and avoid surroundings that make it impossible for the behaviour to happen. Itвs possible for you to change your health-related behaviours.

You can change!! Haydon, E. Roerecke, M. Giesbrecht, N. Rehm, J. , anвd Kobus-Matthews, M. (2006). Chronic disease in Ontario and Canada:determinants, risk factors, and prevention priorities. Prepared for the Ontario Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance and the Ontario Public Health Association. Klein-Geltink, J. E. , Choi, B. C. K. , Fry, R. N. (2006). Multiple exposures to smoking, alcohol, physical inactivity and overweight:Prevalences according to the Canadian Community Health Survey Cycle 1. 1. Chronic Diseases in Canada, 27(1), 25-33 The Health Communication Unit (June, 2004). Changing behaviours: a practical framework. Retrieved November 18, 2008 from http://www. thcu. ca/infoandresources/publications/Changing%20Behavioursv4. 2. june. 15. 04. pdf

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