Walking the Walk

Nurses can set a healthy standard for their patients

Like many of their patients, nurses struggle to find the time and energy for exercise. But a new study shows how nurses' attitudes can influence whether their patients commit to a healthy lifestyle—providing some extra motivation to practice what they preach.

making time for exercise

"Nurses should model healthy exercise behavior," says Joyce Fitzpatrick, a professor at Case Western Reserve University's Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing and author of the study.

Researchers surveyed 112 nurses from a New York hospital about their personal exercise habits and what they recommend to patients. The study found that if nurses personally believe in the benefits of exercise, they promote it to their patients.