The Theory of Planned Behavior

People conduct activities that indirectly or directly affect their health on a daily basis. Healthy behaviors aim to improve or maintain patterns that are beneficial to the body and mind, which help prevent illness, avoid injuries or simply reduce the stress level of the everyday routine. However, health behavior can also be neglected, resulting in a continuous negative effect on human well-being. This paper examines the factors that determine healthy behaviors and analyzes my activities and patterns for maintaining health.

Factors that Determine Health Behaviors

There are many factors that determine a person’s behavior concerning their health. According to the health belief model theory, these factors include “perceived susceptibility, perceived severity of the health threat, perceived benefits and barriers to treatment, and cues to action” (Straub, 2016, p. 432). For example, the perceived susceptibility factor suggests that maintaining a healthy lifestyle is influenced by a person’s susceptibility and fear of receiving diseases. This means that people who feel invincible before infections tend to lead a lifestyle that is inattentive to their health. Similarly, the perceived severity of the health threat forces a person to form a behavior depending on whether the current patterns can lead to death, disability, or affect family and friends.

The perceived benefits and threats to treatment factor force a person to evaluate a particular behavior in the context of the pros and cons of possible changes in treatment. For example, a smoker may decide not to give up smoking because it can subsequently make them obese, completely ignoring the effect on the lungs (Straub, 2016). The supposed benefits in the form of a healthy body do not outweigh the desire to look conventional, so unhealthy behavior patterns persist. The cue to action factor considers the influence of a person’s environment and position on the possibility of leading a healthy lifestyle. Thus, a person whose friends incline them to support proper nutrition is more prone to maintain healthy habits. This factor also includes age, socio-economic status, gender, and even information presented in the media. Along with aspects mentioned, many others affect a person’s healthy behaviors, and only some of them were reflected in the paper.

Health Behavior I Struggle to Perform

There are several types of healthy behavior that directly impact the well-being of young people. Among the presented, some patterns are difficult for me to follow, even if I am aware of their harm. For example, it is difficult for me to give up foods high in fat and low in fiber. Due to the good taste, I often add foods that doctors may consider harmful to my diet, including burgers, pizza, and highly carbonated drinks. Nevertheless, knowing their effect on health, I try to control their amount in my diet and alternate them with vegetables and fruits.

It is also difficult for me to follow the rule of healthy behavior about regular physical activity. Workloads require a lot of energy, which is why I may allow myself to neglect some physical activity in favor of watching a movie on the couch at the end of the day. However, I also try to regulate this aspect of my life by paying more attention to walking during the working week. Other health behaviors, such as quitting smoking and drug use, healthy sleep, practicing safe sex, and many others, seem easy to me.

Theory Relating to My Health Behavior

Among the theories of behavior health change, the theory of planned behavior (PHB) best reflects my inability to follow the habits necessary to maintain health. This theory implies that a person’s behavioral intentions are formed by attitude toward the behavior, the subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control (Ajzen, 2020). This means that only a specific purpose to adopt or change health behavior can help realize it. Considering my environment in terms of health, it seems to me that these are the factors I lack to lead a healthy lifestyle.

Firstly, when I am going to improve my diet and increase the amount of physical activity, I do not fully believe in the need for results. Since my diet is balanced and I spend time walking every day, I feel that I do not need additional health measures. Secondly, my friends and relatives adhere to a similar lifestyle, reflecting current health behavior as an established subjective norm. Thirdly, the eradication of these habits will affect the amount of free time, which prevents me from understanding success in achieving the goal. Therefore, considering all three factors, the theory of planned behavior best explains my inability to follow healthy habits.

Factors of Intervention Considered

r, and the potential consequences. Thus, ignoring the aspect of the target behavior will complicate finding the root of the problem and identifying ways to solve it. Turning a blind eye to the status eliminates the fact of understanding the context, which also hinders the intervention process. Finally, if the consequences factor is neglected, there is a risk of harming health or abandoning the intervention halfway through since the goal will not have clear boundaries.


Ajzen, I. (2020). The theory of planned behavior: Frequently asked questions. Human Behavior and Emerging Technologies, 2(4), 314-324.

Straub, R. O. (2016). Health psychology: A biopsychosocial approach (6th ed.). Macmillan Learning.

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PsychologyWriting. "The Theory of Planned Behavior." September 17, 2023.