Social Media and Health Behavior Change

L. Laranjo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


Chronic diseases are nowadays the leading cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide, being largely promoted by unhealthy lifestyle behaviors. Indeed, sedentariness, poor diet, smoking, and alcohol abuse are common risk factors for cardiovascular disease and other chronic conditions, accounting for a great amount of healthcare costs.Behavioral informatics interventions have the potential to assist individuals (both patients and healthy consumers) in modifying behaviors to improve physical, mental, or behavioral health. In particular, social media interventions have several advantages, including wide accessibility across geographical barriers, ubiquity, and cost-efficiency. Nowadays, the growth in social networking sites brings new opportunities to disseminate public health interventions and promote large improvements in the field of health behavior change.This chapter discusses the importance of health behavior change and the numerous theories, models, and frameworks that attempt to explain its processes, as well as provides possible avenues for the use of social media in behavior change interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationParticipatory Health through Social Media
EditorsShabbir Syed-Abdul, Elia Gabarron, Annie Y. S. Lau
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages29
ISBN (Electronic)9780128095485
ISBN (Print)9780128092699
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jun 2016


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