Background: This study aimed to identify the extent to which levels of happiness and self-efficacy could predict preventive health behaviours (such as healthy eating and exercise) and body mass index (BMI). Methods: Data was collected from 100 adults (59% female), mean age 24.75 years, measuring generalised self-efficacy beliefs, happiness, health preventative behaviours, BMI, age and gender. Findings: Results indicate that both happiness and generalised self efficacy significantly predict health preventative behaviours, explaining 20% and 26% of the variance in the behaviours respectively. Mood was negatively correlated with BMI (r¼0.17, p50.05). Relationships were also noted between generalised self efficacy, happiness and BMI. Discussion: Evidence presented here suggests that happiness and high self-efficacy beliefs can significantly enhance health protective behaviours. Moreover, those who express higher levels of happiness, also exhibit higher levels of self efficacy and have a lower BMI. Suggestions are made to tailor health promotion campaigns towards enhancing mood and personal control beliefs.
Chater A., Cook E. (2008) 'Who protects their health? Factors that influence health preventive behaviours and body mass index', EHPS/DHP - Bath, .
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