Health and HIA

Health is “a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” – World Health Organization (WHO)

Social Determinants of Health

Health is determined not only by access to healthcare services and lifestyle choices but also by the social and economic conditions in which people live.  These include many factors which lie outside the healthcare fields, including housing, employment, transportation and access to fresh food.  Public policies that impact these non-healthcare sectors have a significant impact on people’s health and wellbeing.  For example, a transportation sector policy to promote active modes of travel is likely to improve levels of physical activity and the related health benefits.  The diagram below illustrates the many determinants of health: