Health Literacy: Implications for Shoe Choices Promoting Foot Health in Children

By Stefania Penkala.

Published by The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Optimal health behaviors developed during childhood are considered fundamental health foundations for the entire lifespan. Appropriate footwear choices are part of this mix minimizing the impact of foot disorders, foot pain and mobility limitations. However, while parents may intuitively want to provide their child with the best shoe choices for a healthy start to life, footwear knowledge can be limiting. Informed health decisions require an appropriate level of health literacy and application. Limitations in health literacy are associated with poor health outcomes including reductions in physical and mental health, poor treatment adherence and poor self-management.
Comprehensive strategies are needed to tailor health information and understanding to promote and encourage healthy choices. Integral to health education and health literacy is the development of a common language around healthy choices. People however do not necessarily share the same interpretation or conceptual understanding of health-related terminology. This paper broadly introduces the topic of health literacy and focuses on a specific and emerging area of footwear literacy to highlight the importance of addressing language comprehension, which has and implications for children’s footwear choices.

Keywords: Health Literacy, Health Promotion, Mixed-Method Research, Shoes, Foot-Health, Child

The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp.87-98. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 771.719KB).

Dr. Stefania Penkala

Lecturer, School of Biomedical and Health Sciences, University of Western Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Dr. Stefania Penkala is a lecturer at the School of Biomedical and Health Sciences, University of Western Sydney, and has worked in a range of areas including pediatrics, gerontology, and sports medicine in private, public, metropolitan and country practice. Teaching across a range of professions including Podiatry, Sports and Exercise Science, and Traditional Chinese Medicine, Stefania has taught in a range of units including sports medicine, soft tissue techniques, clinical assessment and rehabilitation, musculoskeletal disorders, evidence-based practice and research methods. Stefania’s research interests combine evidence-based practice, outcome measurement, health literacy and educational interventions to promote healthy life-long physical activity, mobility and well-being.