Army Reserve Readiness: Health Behaviors/Workplace Factors


Name: Christine Wynd


Organization: The University of Akron

Performance Site: The University of Akron, Akron, OH; The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH; 914th Combat Support Hospital, Columbus, OH; 256th Combat Support Hospital

Year Published: 1996

Abstract Status: Final


A descriptive correlational/comparative design was used to study health care personnel in active duty Army, Army Reserve, and civilian subgroups (N = 610) to identify individual internal health motivation and sociological workplace factors associated with health promoting behaviors. Quantitative data were analyzed through analysis of variance (ANOVA), Pearson product moment correlation, and multiple regression. Qualitative data were also obtained from answers to an open-ended, semi-structured item asking subjects to describe one event that motivated the adoption of a health behavior and circumstances surrounding the experience. Results revealed significant differences among the three groups in terms of age, body weight, body mass index, race, gender, and educational levels. The most significant factors contributing to the adoption of health promoting behaviors included internal self-motivation, social support, and reciprocity. Organizational workplace cultures were inconsistent predictors of health promotion despite the Army's mandatory physical fitness and weight control standards. Descriptive and qualitative data suggest, however, that many individuals internalized the need to pursue exercise and weight control as a result of motivation introduced by Army policy. Employers and health care professionals need to consider these factors as health promotion programs are designed for employees. Social support for health behaviors among employees will be essential to the progress of these programs and an important factor to develop is internal self-motivation for changing behaviors to reduce health risk and enhance health and well being.


Final report is available on NTRL: