A Conceptual Framework For Action On The Social Determinants Of Health
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A home that is close to grocery stores makes it easier for families to buy and eat healthy foods. A thriving neighborhood also offers employment, transportation, and good schools. Being surrounded by all of these things helps you live a healthier life. By working to establish policies that positively influence social and economic conditions and those that support changes in individual behavior, we can improve health for large numbers of people in ways that can be sustained over time. Improving the conditions in which we live, learn, work, and play and the quality of our relationships will create a healthier population, society, and workforce.
Each dimension contributes to our own sense of wellness or quality of life, and each affects and overlaps the others. At times, one may be more prominent than others, but neglect of any one dimension for any length of time has adverse effects on overall health. Wellness improvements at the workplace include the physical work environment; social-psycho work environment and work-place/life balance. Working and playing are part of the same dimension and when properly managed provides a healthy environment for employees. I used to only think of wellness as being physical health, never understanding that there were so many other factors that go into me being happy and healthy.
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- Evidence on the likely effects of welfare reforms comes both from random-assignment experiments and from longitudinal survey studies .
- The structural determinants cause and operate through intermediary determinants of health—housing, physical work environment, social support, stress, nutrition and physical activity—to shape health outcomes.
- Motivation to begin and to continue smoking is strongly influenced by the social environment, although genetic factors are also known to play a role.
- A broad range of social, environmental, psychological, and genetic factors have been associated with tobacco use, including low testosterone symptoms gender, race and ethnicity, age, income level, educational attainment, geographic location, and disability.
- The structural determinants include “all social and political mechanisms that generate … stratification and social class divisions in society and that define individual socioeconomic position within hierarchies of power, prestige and access to resources” (p. 5).
Determinants of health are a range of factors that influence the health status of individuals or populations. At every stage of life, health is determined by complex interactions between social and economic factors, the physical environment and individual behaviour.
A parent can pass on a defective or abnormal gene or set of genes, a malfunction can occur during combination of maternal and paternal DNA, or exposure to an outside substance or condition can occur after conception that alters the genes in the fetus. The role and effect of biological, behavioral, and environmental influences change as children grow. For example, a pharmacological agent like thalidomide is highly toxic within a narrow window during pregnancy but not afterward, an attachment to a caring adult is especially critical during infancy, and peer influences appear to grow steadily from toddlerhood through adolescence. Even within a childhood stage, health influences can act in very different ways because of the differing cultural interpretations that families attach to them.
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Neighborhood conditions are an important part of housing, and can also affect your health. A neighborhood that is free from violence, crime, and pollution gives children and adults a safe place for physical activity.
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