2013, Volume 9, Issue 1

Socio-demographic conditions of the realization of health-oriented lifestyles by women



Maria Alicja Nowak1, Leonard Nowak1

1Extramural Department of Physical Education in Gorzów Wielkopolski of the Poznań Physical Education Academy, Gorzów Wielkopolski, Poland


Author for correspondence: Maria Alicja Nowak; Extramural Department of Physical Education in Gorzów Wielkopolski of the Poznań Physical Education Academy, Gorzów Wielkopolski, Poland; email: nowak[at]wp.pl


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Abstract

Background and Study Aim: We can talk about lifestyle when we deal with certain configurations of behavior patterns, relatively constant and repetitive, in situations where there are conditions for alternative behaviors. Vitally significant in the realization of lifestyles are values which constitute the basis for human action, the criteria for the choices made. The aim of the study was socio-demographic conditions of the realization of health-oriented lifestyles by women.
Material and Methods: Research conducted between 1999 and 2004 included 1361 women aged 20-75, living in cities of western Poland and participating in recreational physical exercise (purposive sampling). The diagnostic survey method was employed (the techniques of questionnaire, interview, List of Health Criteria). For the verification of the research hypotheses concerning the conditions (age, number of children, professional activity) of a health-oriented lifestyle (The recognized health and/or physical fitness values were set together with health-related behaviors: physical activity, forms of vacation, nutritional status, avoidance of smoking, moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages) the χ2 independence test and the multiple correspondence analysis were used.
Results: Women who appreciated the values of health and physical fitness (28.1%) were mostly characterized by many-year participation in physical exercise (p=0.0123 for the χ2 test), choice of active forms of relaxation (p=0.0396 for the χ2 test), moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages (p=0.0353 for the χ2 test), mainly with low alcohol content (p=0.0054 for the χ2 test). No statistically significant dependences were found between recognition of these values and smoking or body weight of the subjects. Women who recognize the values of health and physical activity, or only health, with 7 or more years of history of participation in physical recreation, choosing vacations directly connected with physical activity and avoiding consumption of alcoholic beverages, are mainly professionally active or temporarily inactive individuals aged 30 to 49, having one child.
Conclusions: In the dissemination of physical activity in our society it is necessary to promote the value of physical activity, presenting it in the context of health-oriented lifestyle. Lifestyle in such an approach can be applied in analyzing the results of the process of education.


Key words: ex-smokers, health-oriented lifestyle, professional activity, professional inactivity, values