Associations between overweight and obesity and health enhancing behaviours among female nurses in Poland
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Public Health Division, Faculty of Health Science, Medical University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland
Department of Teaching and Outcomes of Education, Faculty of Health Science, Medical University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland
Department of Nursing and Emergency Medicine, Institute of Health, Faculty of Natural Science, University of Natural Sciences and Humanities, Siedlce, Poland
Department of Health Biohazards and Parasitology, Institute of Rural Health, Lublin, Poland
Institute of Rural Health, Lublin, Poland
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2018;25(4):714–719
Introduction and objective:
The nursing profession entails many negative factors and high risk of chronic diseases, including overweight and obesity. The aim of the study is to investigate the prevalence of overweight and obesity and health enhancing behaviours in Polish female nurses, and associations between overweight and 4 groups of such behaviours, age and shift work.

Material and methods:
The analysis covered data obtained through cross-sectional survey carried out in a group of 994 nurses with an average age of 43. The analysis covered answers about 29 health-enhancing behaviours divided into 4 categories (subscales): 1) nutrition, 2) physical activity, 3) sleep, rest and behaviours related to mental health, 4) preventive behaviours. They were analysed through the validated Positive Health Behaviours Scale for adults. The analysis also covered answers about avoiding drinking large amounts of alcohol in one go, not smoking, avoiding passive smoking, not abusing unprescribed drugs.

The prevalence of overweight and obesity was 44%. Of 29 health behaviours concerned with nutrition, physical activity, sleep, rest, and mental health, preventive behaviours, 3 were exhibited always or almost always by over a half of the nurses. Health behaviours were more common in nurses whose BMI was normal than in nurses with BMI ≥ 25.0. Age and low physical activity levels were related to overweight and obesity in nurses.

The study revealed a high prevalence of overweight and obesity and many deficits in health behaviours. Obesity and health behaviour deficits pose risks to the health of nurses, limit their involvement in prevention and treatment of patient obesity and impact as health educators. It is essential to engage in actions for health promotion among nurses.

Mariusz Panczyk   
Department of Teaching and Outcomes of Education, Faculty of Health Science, Medical University of Warsaw, Zwirki i Wigry 81, 02-091 Warszawa, Poland
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