Health-Promoting Lifestyle Behaviours Among Primary Healthcare Professional Nurses in Eastern Cape Province, South Africa

  •  Sizeka Monakali    
  •  Daniel Ter Goon    
  •  Eunice Seekoe    
  •  Eyitayo Omolara Owolabi    


Nurses play significant roles in health promotion and health education about healthy lifestyle practices and are considered role models of healthy lifestyle behaviours. It is unclear if their knowledge of healthy lifestyle choices translate to practice. This study assessed the lifestyle behaviours of primary healthcare professional nurses in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. This descriptive, cross-sectional study involved 203 purposively selected primary healthcare nurses in Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. We utilised the WHO STEPwise questionnaire to assess the lifestyle behaviour (smoking, alcohol use and physical activity) of the nurses. Descriptive and inferential statistics were carried out at a significance level of p<0.05. The participants’ mean age was 45.17 (Standard Deviation±11.26) years. Of all the participants, 27% had ever taken alcohol, and 18% currently use alcohol. Only 8% had ever smoked and of these, 3% currently smoke. Of all the participants, 33% do not engage in physical activities, and only 29% of them met the WHO recommendation for being active. Most of them were aware of the benefits of physical activities. Majority of the participants cited lack of time (74%) and lack of commitment (63%) as barriers to physical activity and few of them cited health challenges (3.9%). Among the primary health care professional nurses in this setting, we found a high prevalence of alcohol use and low prevalence of smoking and physical activity among primary health care nurses in this setting. There is a need to implement effective workplace strategies and wellness programmes that will foster healthy lifestyle practices among the nurses.

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