Teachers' Health-Related Behaviors: Basis for A Health Promotion Program
Keywords:health behaviors, high school teachers, health promotion program
Health-related behavior refers to habits, practices, activities, or personal attributes that enhance or put at risk the overall functioning of an individual. Examples of health behaviors that enhance health are exercise and a healthy diet, while those that put people at risk are smoking and alcohol consumption. Health-related behaviors are important risk factors for major non-communicable diseases. Chronic, non-communicable diseases are currently the leading causes of death, disability, and disease worldwide, accounting for 41 million deaths per year globally. Risk factors for NCDs can either be modifiable or non-modifiable. Modifiable risk factors can reduce the incidence of many NCDs by changing one's lifestyle, such as cutting tobacco use, harmful use of alcohol, unhealthy diet, and physical inactivity. Non-modifiable risk factors cannot be changed; however, they can be controlled and their effect reduced by making changes to one's lifestyle. It includes age, ethnic background, and family history of NCDs. There were an increased incidence of premature diabetes and high blood pressure cases in teachers, which was linked to their everyday challenges in their workplace. Also, another study found out that there is an increased incidence of cancer and heart disease among teachers due to the high volume of workload. Literature on teachers' health behaviors is scarce and inconsistent. For this reason, the researcher has come up with this study to identify secondary teachers' health-related behaviors, which will provide a basis to design a health promotion program to promote overall health for teachers and improve their well-being. Research Design: Descriptive-developmentalResearchParticipants: 211 junior and senior high school teachers of selected public and private high schools of the City Schools Division of San Fernando, La UnionData Gathering Tool: researcher-made questionnaire adapted from WHO STEPwiseApproach to Chronic Disease Risk Factor Surveillance (with a validity of 4.875 -Very Highly Valid, and Reliability (Cronbach’s alpha) of 0.80 to 0.97.Data Management: The profile of teachers was analyzed using Frequency and Percentage. The extent of the practice of teachers' health-related behaviors was analyzed using Weighted Mean. Correlation between the profile of teachers and extent of practice was analyzed using Pearson Product Moment Correlational Coefficient Results of the study found that secondary school teachers in the City of San Fernando, La Union are female, married, and young, belonging to the age bracket of 20 to 29 years old, beginning teachers with one to five years length of service in the teaching profession, have permanent employment status, have no medical history of NCDs but have a family history of NCDs. Teachers rarely practice health-related behaviors and medical check-ups but always practice health-related behaviors along with tobacco avoidance and alcohol abstinence. Moreover, the researcher found that among the modifiable risk factors, marital status, type of school, and years of teaching have a significant relationship to some extent with teachers' health-related behaviors. Regarding non-modifiable risk factors, age and medical history have a substantial relationship with the extent of the practice of teachers' health-related behaviors. Based on the quantitative analysis of the data gathered in this study, it can be concluded that there is a correlation between the teachers' profile and the extent of the practice of health-related behaviors. Results also indicate that even though participants are non-smokers and non-drinkers, there are some lifestyle factors (like giving attention to medical check-ups, physical activity, and sleep and rest) as well as the presence of risk factors, both modifiable and non-modifiable, that may jeopardize their health, perhaps towards the later years of their lives. This study can therefore help control non-communicable diseases as it identified the health-related behaviors of teachers, which is the most important risk factor for NCDs. The results of this study were used to design a health promotion program for teachers.