Health Promoting Behaviors Checklist for Women with Disabilities
Would you like to know how you compare to others on your health promoting behaviors? Well, we wish we could tell you, but we can't. Disability affects each of us in a different way, with its own complications and limitations. The context within which we live plus our psychological make up and the level of social support we have play major roles in shaping the way we perceive our health and the way we act to promote our own wellness.
It is often frustrating and futile for women with physical limitations to compare themselves to women in general. In my case, doing aerobic activity for 20 minutes three times a week (the common recommendation) is totally impossible. Having my personal care assistant do range of motion exercises on my arms and legs when I get up and before I go to bed is about the best I can do; but hey, its certainly better than nothing! It keeps my joints limber and sure helps with circulation. The problem is that range of motion exercise is nowhere on the charts for recommended physical activity. Relative to my situation, however, it means a lot.
The only thing that really matters is how you compare to yourself, your potential to behave in ways that will promote your health and minimize the effects of your disability. For our research, we have created checklists you can use to ask yourself some important questions about physical activity, diet, and smoking. There are no right or wrong answers, but generally the farther down the list of responses you can check, the better.
The purpose of these checklists is to get you thinking about what you do and how you think about what you do. You don't have to report your answers to anyone, just yourself. We suggest you fill out the checklists now and again in a week to see if, just by asking yourself these questions, you have made any improvements in your health promoting behaviors.
-Margaret Nosek, Ph.D.
Download and complete the following checklists:
For more guidance and resources related to clinical care services, accessibility, and preventative self-evaluation techniques for women with disabilities, visit the Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs (AMCHP) toolbox.