Health Determinants Essay

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Health Determinants Many factors determine and influence the health of an individual. Harcourt Saunders argues that ‘health is a complete state of physical, mental and social well-being, not merely absence of disease or infirmity’ (Harcourt Saunders 2000, p. 7). Things that help define whether someone is healthy or unhealthy is determined by their circumstances and environment, factors that define the determinants in an individual’s health are; the social, economic and physical environment as well as the person’s attributes and behaviours. Some determinants can give a positive outcome on an individual’s health whilst other determinants can have an adverse affect on their health. Thirty minutes a day of physical exercise such as brisk walking or jogging for example: ‘or being vaccinated against disease’ (), these are protective factors. The things that heightened any kind of risk of ill health are called risk factors; some can be displayed in behaviours like smoking, being lazy or drinking excessive amounts of alcohol or ‘wider influence of lower socioeconomic status’ (). The measuring and monitoring of the determinants can be used as tools to help explain the health trends. Information gathered can help us to understand the reasons why a particular individuals or groups have poorer health outcomes than others. This will empower a need to develop and evaluate policies and interventions to help stop disease and encourage better health. References: World Health Organization 1958, cited by Wass, A. (2000), Promoting health: the primary health care approach, Second edition, Harcourt Saunders, Sydney, p. 7 Ameratunga, S, Hijar, M & Norton, R 2006, ‘Road-traffic injuries: confronting disparities to address a global-health problem’, The Lancet.com, 6 May, viewed 5 May

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