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Ohio Farmers' Self-Report Six Health Behaviors

Category: 2021
Author: Dee Jepsen
Institution Affiliation: Ohio State University

A health behaviors assessment of Ohio farmers was conducted by Ohio State University in 2020. The importance of this data is that it provides OSU Extension, community hospitals, health departments, federal qualified centers, and agencies a better understanding of the health behaviors of the rural farming community. Future collaboration may see development of targeted health and wellness projects and programming, and/or partnerships with OSU Extension. Establishing these connections can create long-term community-based alliances supporting the needs of our agricultural producers and farm families. This session will report data received from a Qualtrics cross-sectional study of 505 farmers where respondents self-reported practices on: sun exposure, sleep, physical activity, dietary habits, mental health, and alcohol use. The participants were predominately male, white, married, working full-time. The majority of farmers self-reported working in high intensity sun 6-or-more hours/day. Reliable survey scales indicated most farmers had problems sleeping and 10% had a mental health score indicating a major depression disorder is likely. Fruit/vegetable servings were less than nutritional recommendations, with obesity scores highest among Ohio farmers aged 55-64 years. Physical activity was self-reported at lower than recommended rates. One-third of males and more than one-quarter of females could be categorized as hazardous drinkers. Objectives: 1. Describe self-reported health practices of Ohio farmers. 2. Provide rural health care professionals with a better understanding of OSU Extension’s role in rural Ohio counties. 3. Find common health disparities to connect and collaborate with OSU Extension faculty to promote better health practices in agricultural populations. Bios: Dee Jepsen, PhD, Professor. Dee is the OSU State Specialist for Agricultural Safety and Health. In her role she bridges the gap between academics, applied research, and community issues. Besides her degrees in agriculture, she is also a farm wife to a full-time farmer with over 1300 acres in Fairfield County. Jill Kilanowski, PhD, RN, CPNP, FAAN. Jill is a Research Associate at OSU in her post-retirement years, after serving as Professor and Associate Dean for Graduate Programs at Mount Carmel College of Nursing. Jill is a valued team member, bringing extensive nursing and applied research experience to community practitioner programs. Emilee Drerup, MPH, CHES. Emilee is a public health consultant for the Ohio Department of Health. Prior to this position, she was the Family and Consumer Science Educator for OSU Extension in Hancock county. Emilee’s work in agricultural communities, combined with her studies in health promotion/health behavior, brings expertise to the team.

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