Chapters

Our JSNA chapters consider the current and future health and social care needs of specific topics.

You can download the following topic-specific chapters as accessible Word documents:

Context

Increasing attention is being paid to not only how long people live, but also how well they live.

Health and wellbeing are influenced by many social, economic, and environmental factors, known as the social determinants of health. These are the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age.

Examples of the social determinants of health include:

  • crime and the perception of crime
  • green spaces around people
  • housing
  • unemployment
  • income level.

There are also important individual-level risk factors which have been identified that affect health and wellbeing. These include:

  • tobacco use
  • harmful use of alcohol and drugs
  • physical inactivity
  • poor diet
  • high levels of stress
  • poor mental wellbeing
  • poor sexual health.

Each of these risk factors is an aspect of ‘lifestyle’, the interaction of personal choice and responses to the social and physical environment. People need to make the right choices, as they have a personal responsibility for their own health. This happens more readily in an environment in which these choices are easy. 

Therefore, improving mental and physical health and wellbeing involves broader changes to the social determinants that influence us all, and specific changes for those with particular needs.


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