Physical exercise habit: on the conceptualization and formation of habitual health behaviours.
An observation one can make when reviewing the literature on physical activity is that health-enhancing exercise habits tend to wear off as soon as individuals enter adolescence. Therefore, exercise habits should be promoted and preserved early in life. This article focuses on the formation of physical exercise habits. First, the literature on motivational determinants of habitual exercise and related behaviours is discussed, and the concept of habit is further explored. Based on this literature, a theoretical model of exercise habit formation is proposed. More specifically, expanding on the idea that habits are the result of automated cognitive processes, it is argued that physical exercise habits are capable of being automatically activated by the situational features that normally precede these behaviours. These habits may enhance health as a result of consistent performance over a long period of time. Subsequently, obstacles to the formation of exercise habits are discussed and interventions that may anticipate these obstacles are presented. Finally, implications for theory and practice are briefly discussed. (+info)
Acceptability of computerized self-report of alcohol habits: a patient perspective.
The acceptability of computerized assessment of alcohol habits was explored in 57 consecutive out-patients over a 6-month period. Altogether, 46 men and 11 women agreed to complete a paper and pencil questionnaire exploring their opinion about computerized assessment. The study focused on the patients' acceptance of computerized testing and also on whether some sub-groups had reservations. The participants indicated that they had no general anxiety towards computers and did not mind being assessed by their use. Nearly half of the men were not convinced of the usefulness of computers as a means of asking about alcohol habits. The same level of confidence was recorded with regard to whether doctors would make better assessments using computers. Around one-quarter of both men and women were worried that computers might cause doctors to spend less time with the patients and that staff might lose the personal contact with patients. Because of the small sample size, we conclude tentatively that a computerized lifestyle test appears to be an acceptable method both to men and women with different educational backgrounds. However, two important issues need to be further addressed, namely concerns about confidentiality and loss of personal contact. (+info)
Augmenting simplified habit reversal in the treatment of oral-digital habits exhibited by individuals with mental retardation.
We investigated whether a simplified habit reversal treatment eliminates fingernail biting and related oral-digital habits exhibited by individuals with mild to moderate mental retardation. Although simplified habit reversal did little to decrease the target behaviors for 3 of 4 participants, simplified habit reversal plus additional treatment procedures decreased the behavior to near-zero levels for all participants. These procedures included remote prompting, remote contingencies involving differential reinforcement plus response cost, and differential reinforcement of nail growth. Limitations of habit reversal for individuals with mental retardation along with directions for future research involving therapist-mediated treatment procedures, particularly those involving remote prompting and remote contingencies, are discussed. (+info)
Building neural representations of habits.
Memories for habits and skills ("implicit or procedural memory") and memories for facts ("explicit or episodic memory") are built up in different brain systems and are vulnerable to different neurodegenerative disorders in humans. So that the striatum-based mechanisms underlying habit formation could be studied, chronic recordings from ensembles of striatal neurons were made with multiple tetrodes as rats learned a T-maze procedural task. Large and widely distributed changes in the neuronal activity patterns occurred in the sensorimotor striatum during behavioral acquisition, culminating in task-related activity emphasizing the beginning and end of the automatized procedure. The new ensemble patterns remained stable during weeks of subsequent performance of the same task. These results suggest that the encoding of action in the sensorimotor striatum undergoes dynamic reorganization as habit learning proceeds. (+info)
The association between switching hand preference and the declining prevalence of left-handedness with age.
OBJECTIVES: This study determined the prevalence of left-handedness and of switching hand preference among innately left-handed subjects. METHODS: Subjects of Swiss nationality (n = 1692), participating in a population-based survey in Geneva, Switzerland, completed a questionnaire on innate hand preference and current hand preference for writing. RESULTS: From 35 to 44 years of age to 65 to 74 years of age, the prevalence of innate left-handedness declined from 11.9% to 6.2% (trend P = .007). In these same age groups, the proportion of innately left-handed subjects who switched to the right hand for writing increased from 26.6% to 88.9% (trend P = .0001). CONCLUSIONS: Across generations, we found an increase in the prevalence of switching hand preference among innately left-handed subjects. This phenomenon could be explained by social and parental pressure to use the right hand. (+info)
Subjective daytime sleepiness in schoolchildren.
OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to find out how the occurrence of subjective daytime sleepiness (SDS) in schoolchildren had changed after 2 years follow-up and which were the predictors associated with persistence and appearance of SDS. METHODS: A total of 107 schoolchildren with SDS (Group 1) and an equal number without SDS (Group 2) were chosen to take part in the questionnaire study (age range 12-20 years). The questions concerned sleeping habits, sleep disorders and daytime sleepiness of the child and the family, progress at school and TV/video watching of the child, and social background of the family. A bivariate method (Pearson's chi-square) was used as a statistical tool. RESULTS: We received 68 replies (64%) from Group 1 and 75 (70%) from Group 2. Fifty-four schoolchildren were still sleepy in Group 1 and 28% had become sleepy in Group 2. The persistence of SDS in Group 1 was related to older age, irregular sleeping habits, frequent night waking and the fathers' sleep difficulties. The appearance of SDS in Group 2 was related to a high average grade at school. CONCLUSION: A delayed sleep phase rhythm and problems staying asleep are obvious causes of persistent SDS, but the stress of schoolwork can also cause daytime sleepiness in schoolchildren. (+info)
Siestas among Brazilian Native Terena adults : a study of daytime napping.
Regular daytime napping behavior, also known as siesta culture, is influenced by circadian, cultural and environmental factors. This research analyzes characteristics of regular daytime napping in Brazilian Native Terenas. We evaluated 65 adults ( 32 M; 33 F ) from 18 to 75 years, with a mean age of 37.2, from the Indian Reservation village Corrego do Meio, in the central region of Mato Grosso do Sul. Daytime napping characteristics were evaluated by means of a standard questionnaire applied to each individual. It was observed that weekly daytime napping (at least once a week) was present in 72. 3% of the population. There was a tendency to occur in males. The effects of weekends was mild. Mean onset time of daytime sleep was 12.2 h, remarkably earlier than usually described in urban populations. This data stresses the need to consider ethnic influences in order to understand sleep habits. (+info)
The spatial distribution and size of rook (Corvus frugilegus) breeding colonies is affected by both the distribution of foraging habitat and by intercolony competition.
Explanations for the variation in the number of nests at bird colonies have focused on competitive or habitat effects without considering potential interactions between the two. For the rook, a colonial corvid which breeds seasonally but forages around the colony throughout the year, both the amount of foraging habitat and its interaction with the number of competitors from surrounding colonies are important predictors of colony size. The distance over which these effects are strongest indicates that, for rooks, colony size may be limited outside of the breeding season when colony foraging ranges are larger and overlap to a greater extent. (+info)