Title

The Impact of Healthy Habit Changes on a Group of Occupational Science Students

Presenter Information

Claudia Hilton

Start Time

26-10-2007 11:45 AM

End Time

26-10-2007 1:45 PM

Abstract

Life-styles or habits have been identified as being responsible for 54% of the reduction in lifespan of those under the age of 65 (McGinnis & Foege, 1994). Habits are significant learned behaviors embedded in an co-cultural context with which they engage in a dialectical relationship (Yerxa, 2002). Occupational science needs to further its understanding of habits, including the process of learning of new habits. Students from Occupational Health and Wellness, an occupational science course, were given an assignment to alter three to five of their habits to improve their own health and wellness. To complete the assignment, the students were paired with partners and assumed two roles, one as a client, working on their own wellness, and one as a mentor, supporting their partners’ wellness. They were first required to complete a self-assessment. In addition to completing the assessment, guest speakers addressing the areas of nutritional health and guidelines for exercise provided them with more guidelines for healthy habits. Students were then required to write a paper about their wellness assessments and determine their wellness goals for the semester. After that, they met weekly with their partners to review their progress and were asked to keep a journal of their experiences from both the client and the mentor perspectives. Discussions during class allowed classmates to share barriers and make suggestions for new strategies that could support each others’ goal achievement. Students were required to write a paper at the end of the semester describing the experience. Follow-up questionnaires examined the students’ continued compliance with new habits after three and six months of completing the semester. Data analysis, using grounded theory, was completed on the students’ written descriptions of their experiences and themes were identified. Quantitative analysis of the follow-up questionnaires was completed to determine the longevity of the habit changes.

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Oct 26th, 11:45 AM Oct 26th, 1:45 PM

The Impact of Healthy Habit Changes on a Group of Occupational Science Students

Life-styles or habits have been identified as being responsible for 54% of the reduction in lifespan of those under the age of 65 (McGinnis & Foege, 1994). Habits are significant learned behaviors embedded in an co-cultural context with which they engage in a dialectical relationship (Yerxa, 2002). Occupational science needs to further its understanding of habits, including the process of learning of new habits. Students from Occupational Health and Wellness, an occupational science course, were given an assignment to alter three to five of their habits to improve their own health and wellness. To complete the assignment, the students were paired with partners and assumed two roles, one as a client, working on their own wellness, and one as a mentor, supporting their partners’ wellness. They were first required to complete a self-assessment. In addition to completing the assessment, guest speakers addressing the areas of nutritional health and guidelines for exercise provided them with more guidelines for healthy habits. Students were then required to write a paper about their wellness assessments and determine their wellness goals for the semester. After that, they met weekly with their partners to review their progress and were asked to keep a journal of their experiences from both the client and the mentor perspectives. Discussions during class allowed classmates to share barriers and make suggestions for new strategies that could support each others’ goal achievement. Students were required to write a paper at the end of the semester describing the experience. Follow-up questionnaires examined the students’ continued compliance with new habits after three and six months of completing the semester. Data analysis, using grounded theory, was completed on the students’ written descriptions of their experiences and themes were identified. Quantitative analysis of the follow-up questionnaires was completed to determine the longevity of the habit changes.