Nurses and Health-Promoting Behaviors: Knowledge May Not Translate Into Self-Care

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Abstract

Nurses are knowledgeable regarding the importance of health-promoting activities such as healthy eating, physical activity, stress management, sleep hygiene, and maintaining healthy relationships. However, this knowledge may not translate into nurses’ own self-care. Nurses may not follow recommended guidelines for physical activity and proper nutrition. Long hours, work overload, and shift work associated with nursing practice can be stressful and contribute to job dissatisfaction, burnout, and health consequences such as obesity and sleep disturbances. The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of research examining nurses’ participation in health-promoting behaviors, including intrinsic and extrinsic factors that may influence nurses’ participation in these activities. This article also provides recommendations for perioperative nurse leaders regarding strategies to incorporate into the nursing workplace to improve the health of the staff nurses by increasing health-promoting behaviors.

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