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Knop to Speak on How to Make Health Changes Successful


January 4, 2005

DELAWARE, OHIO -- New Year's resolutions - especially those about losing weight - often fail. Ohio Wesleyan University's Dr. Nancy Knop, associate professor of physical education, will explain why and help attendees come up with a plan to be more successful by changing their health behaviors. Knop's speech, "How to Change a Health Behavior" will be January 18 at 11 a.m. and again at noon in the Benes Rooms of the Hamilton-Williams Campus Center. This is the first in a series of FIT OWU brown-bag speakers and is free to the public.
 
"There is often confusion about what changing a health behavior involves," says Knop. "Saying, 'I want to lose five pounds,' is an outcome based goal and usually fails. You lose those five pounds, return to old habits, and gain the weight back. The goal of changing health behaviors is to change the behavior and hopefully that will result in the desired outcome goal."
 
According to Knop, this is not really the starting point, but about the second or third step in creating a behavior change. "The key is to get people to change why they are looking to achieve their outcome goal," says Knop. "For example if I wanted to lose weight to look better, that isn't enough of a reason to keep pushing once the goal has been met. But, if I was predisposed to heart disease then I would be more inclined to maintain these behavior changes and they become the routine." Once a person understands, the long-term benefits for making a behavior change the chances of success rise.
 
This is the first of six brown-bag discussions to be held over the next eight weeks as part of the FIT OWU program. All of the brown-bag discussions are free and open to the public. FIT OWU's mission is to improve the overall health status of Ohio Wesleyan faculty, staff, and administration and aims to create behavior changes within individuals that will promote better life-style choices.