Pillar 1: The wider determinants of health

Overview

The origins of our health and wellbeing are not health services, but the social and economic conditions we are born into and in which we live our lives. These determinants are known as the wider determinants, or the social determinants of health. They are a diverse range of environmental, social, and economic factors, including climate change, the built and natural environment; housing; income; education; employment; and access to leisure opportunities. These factors are the most important foundation for health and determine the extent to which people have the physical, social, and personal resources to deal with life. They also influence our health behaviours such as whether we smoke or get enough exercise. Health inequalities will continue if social inequalities remain.