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Mil Med. 2004 Dec;169(12):942-7.

Factors predicting health behaviors among Army Reserve, active duty Army, and civilian hospital employees.

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  • 1University of Akron College of Nursing, 209 Carroll Street, Akron, OH 44147, USA.


This study identified health-risk and health-promoting behaviors in military and civilian personnel employed in hospitals. Intrinsic self-motivation and extrinsic organizational workplace factors were examined as predictors of health behaviors. Because reservists represent a blend of military and civilian lifestyles, descriptive analyses focused on comparing Army Reserve personnel (n = 199) with active duty Army (n = 218) and civilian employees (n = 193), for a total sample of 610. Self-motivation and social support were significant factors contributing to the adoption of health-promoting behaviors; however, organizational workplace cultures were inconsistent predictors of health among the three groups. Only the active Army subgroup identified a hierarchical culture as having an influence on health promotion, possibly because of the Army's mandatory physical fitness and weight control standards. Social support and self-motivation are essential to promoting health among employees, thus hospital commanders and chief executive officers should encourage strategies that enhance and reward these behaviors.

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