This month The Health Foundation are launching a new series of infographics and accompanying blogs and commentaries to describe and explain the social determinants of health in an accessible and engaging way. These determinants include political, social, economic, environmental and cultural factors which shape the conditions in which we are born, grow, live, work and age. Creating a healthy population requires greater action on these factors, not simply on treating ill health further down stream.
Look out for a new theme each month!
This first infographic shows the extent to which health is primarily shaped by factors outside the direct influence of health care and invites us to look at this bigger picture. It also highlights the gap of almost 20 years in health expectancy between people living in the most and least deprived areas of the UK – a gap that is explained not by our ability to see a doctor, but by differences in our experience of the things that make us healthy including good work, education, housing, resources, our physical environment and social connections.
Over the coming months, in eight further infographics The Health Foundation will explore with eye-catching facts, statistics and quotes how different social determinants influence our health. Alongside each will be blogs and interviews to capture both expert insights and the lived experience of people. In July, they will focus on our surroundings, and how positive approaches to the built environment and access to green spaces can improve physical and mental health, addressing other themes over the following months and drawing them together in a short animation in early 2018.
By communicating useable data, information and concepts in a fresh and engaging way, the aim is to stimulate a wider conversation about the social determinants of health. Presenting these infographics in sharable formats provides a useful new resource to other organisations working to improve health.