Health behaviors which students would like to improve: results of a student health needs survey

It is well documented that people will not modify health behaviors if they are not motivated to do so. Unlike most studies that investigate actual practices of health behaviors, this study examines the behaviors which students would like to change. In 1997, a survey was conducted among 592 students of Cal Poly Pomona. Students ranked how serious they were about improving 34 health related behaviors in the next six months. Results indicate that the top five behaviors students would like to improve are: to plan and use time better (78%), set goals and priorities (75%), do something fun and relax more often (67%), improve appearance (65%), and eat more fruits and vegetables (65%). These results will be used to provide direction for future health promotion efforts. Behaviors which most students are serious about improving will be targeted, withtailored messages using social marketing techniques.