• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

Health behavior refers to any behavioral practice that has relevance to physical health, whether the behavior is health promoting or health compromising. Health-promoting behaviors include, but are not limited to, physical activity, a healthy diet, brushing and flossing teeth, vaccinations, seatbelt and car seat use, and sleep. Health-compromising behaviors include smoking, substance use, risky sexual behaviors, plus the inverse of many health-promoting behaviors (e.g., sedentary behaviors). Health behaviors are among the primary causes of many prevalent chronic diseases (e.g., cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, various cancers), and promoting healthy behaviors and changing unhealthy ones have been identified as the most efficient ways to lower chronic disease morbidity rates, decrease mortality rates, and reduce health care costs. Research on health behavior is guided primarily ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles