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|Assessment 2||Health Behaviour Change Diary|
|Task Description||Students are to keep a health behavior change diary using the template provided in the 'assessments folder' on the Moodle site.In this diary, students are to:|
· · Document a key health behavior that they wish to change (i.e. weight loss,
increasing exercise levels, quitting smoking, cutting down on alcohol
· · Document goals in relation to achieving the behaviour you wish to change,
as per the template;
· · Write down the pros versus the cons of changing the behavior (a
· · Document the impact of the behaviour on your health and lifestyle;
· · Measure and record your progress on a weekly basis to achieving your
· · At the end of the change period, document a reflective piece
(incorporating literature and other resources) on your change journey (1500 words). In this, you are to reflect on how you can use your experiences when working with a person who has a substance-use disorder who wants to change their substance-related behaviours.
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Health behaviour I wish to change
Excess body weight is a risk factor for various chronic diseases, including cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. Targeting the modifiable lifestyle behaviours of dietary intake and physical activity holds the key in attaining and maintaining healthy weight (Gillison2015, p. 167 ).In my case, lack of physical activity and unhealthy dietary habits over years seem to have contributed to increased body weight.
Against this background, I decided to embark on a health behaviour change journey focused on achieving and maintaining weight reduction.
How I will achieve this change (short and long-term goals)
Based on available evidence, a 5–10% weight loss during the first six months of any weight reduction intervention is appreciable, with subsequent maintenance of this effect during the following few months (Gruszka 2010, p. 112). Though substantial weight loss is initially achieved by most people attempting weight reduction, it is more difficult to maintain this success in the long run (Franz 2007, p. 1756). It is estimated that about 40% of women and 25% of men who try to achieve weight reduction through lifestyle changes are unable to attain the desired goals, especially in the long-term (koff 2010, p. 257). In fact, a successful transition from the stage of 'weight loss' to that of 'weight loss maintenance' is of paramount significance (Baugh 2014, p. 258).
In this light, I set up short-term, interim, and long-term goals for myself. My short-term goal was not to gain any weight during the first 6 weeks, to reduce my weight by 10% during the first 6 months, and by another 10% in the next 6 months,whereas my interim goal was maintenance of the reduced weight for the next 12 months. The long-term goal would come into play after 24 months and would basically focus on long-term weight maintenance and additional weight loss, if warranted.
In order to achieve these goals, I followed the recommendations given in the published literature–a low calorie diet (1000 to 1200 kcal/day) while maximizing intake of dietary fibres, fruits, vegetables, and water (Mastellos2014, p. 15), and undertaking moderate levels of physical activity for 30 to 45 minutes (walking 2 miles in approximately 30 to 35 minutes), 3 to 5 days per week (DeLany& Kelly 2014, p. 365 )
Costs/benefits analysis of changing mybehavior
Ironically, the costs associated with any health behaviour change become evident almost immediately, whereas the benefits arising out of these behavioural changes are mostly long-term. (Lillis & Wing 2014, p. 78).
The costs-benefits analyses in the context of health behaviour changes are of utmost importance in those individuals who are still in the preparation phase of the change management process (Mastellos 2014, p. 16).In these individuals, if the perceived benefits are less than the anticipated costs, it is highly unlikely that they would enter the action phase of the change management process. Even if these individuals reach the action stage, it is extremely hard to internalise them into the concept of change management and they keep on passing back to the action stage.Rarely, these individuals reach the maintenance phase (Graetz and Smith 2010, p. 137).