Health behavior is the correlation between cultural tendencies of the person with the well-being of the person. Such interactions include the eating and drinking exercises as well as physical activity of the person (Caldwell, Henshaw, & Taylor, 2005). Wider socioeconomic factors may also be considered within this framework so that the population pressure of the place one is living in, or the stress levels of the person are involved in this. For example, it could be seen that tendencies towards cardiovascular diseases are more common to Hispanics because of their dispositions of health (Koya & Egede, 2007). Health factors can either be beyond human intervention, or can be within modification of the human effort. For example, the choice to be obese or not is within the personal abilities of the person. Choice of food consumption and intake amounts can be found for this.
Two main dimensions of health can be found namely: physical and mental health. While physical health is determined by body function, mental health is largely determined by the thought process, emotion and behavior of the person in question (Blaxter, 2004). Different injuries can affect the physical function of the body depending on the extent of the damage, and such injuries are linked to the health of the victim to the extent that the person and the general population are affected. Mental health, on the other hand, enables a person to amply handle daily challenges that they face with the stability of mind that is required in ensuring that the person overcomes. Mental health issues such as stress and anxiety thus hamper the proper function of the person to the full extent of effectiveness that is required of them. The interaction of the physical and mental capacities of the person is apparent where the physical condition of the person may have an effect on the emotions that they have.
Sub-competencies and Interests Being much of an academic, the public health area has often interested me because of the ability to apply my critical thinking and decision making skills within the sector. To me, such decisions affect many lives and I am at a position of influence where there is much dependent on the quality of the decisions I make. As a result, I would choose the competency of assessing existing information and data related to the health situation. In this particular sector, I would focus on the identification of data sources related to health, critiquing these sources and validating sources of information related to public health. These competencies and sub-competencies are important in the line of work that I plan to do because of their close affinity to the strengths that I have, that is analytical skills that are going to be important to the conducting of my work duties (Heinzelmann & Bagley, 1970).
Furthermore, this is going to ensure that within the four years of the pursuit of my education is going to be fruitful. With the focus on the identification of data sources for health, this course would be in line with my interests in that I have a liking for research. This would enable me to become a competent student in this area with the capabilities of being able to look at research and using a set number of standards, be able to determine if a source is a health source or otherwise. Studies have shown that it is not really necessary for the student of this area to have any special knowledge apart from that of health. However, the identification process involves a significant number of other components such as the ability to discern the accuracy of health sources, which is one of the key indicators in this sector.
The ability to critique sources of health is closely related to the first function where I would be able to identify the sources. These sub-competencies work together to ensure the quality of sources of health information by comparing with the accurate facts on the ground concerning the health issue in question. Critiquing is going to put my critical thinking skills to the test, where I will be able to compare and contrast accurate information on the health topic with the source that is in question. Based on the methods of critiquing health sources that have been developed, this area will be properly done as this is an area of interest (Caldwell, Henshaw, & Taylor, 2005). Ensuring that people have the best sources for their health information is what is key for me in this sector.
Finally with regards to being able to validate sources of health information, this would be the culmination of my interests by being able to provide people with trustworthy sources of information on how to maintain their health and general well-being (Committee on Health and Behavior, 2001).
Public Health Factors
Determinants of health include social factors, health services, individual factors, and biology and genetics. With regards to social factors, this is the consideration of factors where the person generally lives and the prevailing circumstances of their normal daily activities. Some of the social determinants include the ability to obtain resources capable of meeting needs, trends such as discrimination, social support services and structures, economic conditions such as chronic poverty, quality of education on matters pertaining to health and so on(Cohen & Scribner, 2000). Physical environment can also form part of this, such as the existence of plants and animals within ones physical environment, housing and neighborhoods which factors in phenomena like drainage and aesthetic elements such as exposure to light. Health services on the other hand focus on the availability of health services including factors such as cost and insurance. Individual behavior covers things in the area of diet, physical activity and hand washing while biology and genetics covers other determinants such as age, sex and inherited conditions such as ones HIV status (Jessor, Turbin, & Costa, 1998).
Some of the health enhancing and compromising can be seen in the lifestyle choices of the people. The can be classified into social factors and individual factors. Some health enhancing behaviors with regards to social factors include the avoidance of flooding areas and proper drainage, socio-economic factors such as ensuring the eating of a balanced diet. With regards to individual factors, eating a balanced diet is one of the factors regarding health enhancement. Physical activity and hand washing are some of the health promoting practices under these factors. The failure to implement these practices could mean behavior detrimental to the maintenance of health in the person.
BIBLIOGRAPHY Caldwell, K., Henshaw, L., & Taylor, G. (2005). Developing a framework for critiquing health research. Journal of Health, Social and Environmental Issues .
Cohen, D., & Scribner, R. (2000). A structural model of health behavior: a pragmatic approach to explain and influence health behaviors at the population level. Preventive Medicine .
Committee on Health and Behavior. (2001). Health and Behavior: the interplay between biological, behavioral and societal influences. Washington D.C.: National Academic Press.
Heinzelmann, F., & Bagley, R. (1970). Response to physcial activity programs and their effects on health behavior. Public Health Reports .
Jessor, R., Turbin, M., & Costa, F. (1998). Protective behavior in adolescent health behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology .
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