Health enhancing behaviors of teachers and other school staff
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Warszawski Uniwersytet Medyczny / Medical University of Warsaw, Warszawa, Poland (Wydział Nauki o Zdrowiu, Zakład Zdrowia Publicznego / Faculty of Health Sciences, Public Health Division)
Akademia Pedagogiki Specjalnej im. Marii Grzegorzewskiej / The Maria Grzegorzewska Academy of Special Education, Warszawa, Poland (Instytut Psychologii Stosowanej / Institute of Applied Psychology)
Magdalena Woynarowska-Sołdan   

Zakład Zdrowia Publicznego, Wydział Nauki o Zdrowiu, Warszawski Uniwersytet Medyczny, ul. Banacha 1A, Blok F, 02-097 Warszawa
Med Pr 2013;64(5):659–670
Background: Any activity undertaken for the purpose of health enhancing behavior is an important element of taking care of one's health. The aim of this paper was to analyze the frequency of health enhancing behaviors and avoiding health-risk behaviors among teachers and other school staff by gender and age. Material and Methods: The sample consisted of 750 teachers and 259 individuals of non-teaching staff of 22 health promoting schools. A questionnaire that included Positive Health Behaviors Scale for Adults and questions on avoiding risk behaviors were used as a research tool. Results: Of the 32 analyzed health enhancing (positive) behaviors, only 11 were undertaken by teachers and 10 by non-teaching staff at a desirable frequency (always or almost always) in a group of more than 50% of respondents. Almost one third of health enhancing behaviors were undertaken with this frequency by less than 20% of respondents. The highest deficits concerned physical activity, nutrition and mental health-related behaviors, and the lowest concerned safety. Deficits in all positive health behaviors were smaller in teachers than in non-teaching staff, in women than in men and in older than in younger teachers. The majority of respondents, mostly teachers, irrespective of gender and age did not undertake risk behaviors. Conclusions: There was a lot of deficits in the healthy lifestyle of teachers and other school workers what is alarming from the point of view of school workers' health, their tasks and their role in shaping positive health behavior in children and adolescents. There is a great need for taking actions to improve the situation, such as the development of health promotion programs addressed to teachers and other school staff, including issues concerning healthy lifestyles in teacher's pre- and in-service training, counselling in the area of healthy lifestyle in preventive health care of school staff. Med Pr 2013;64(5):659–670