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What factors influence our health? A lot of attention is focused on people's behaviour - their decisions to smoke, drink, over-eat and so on - with strong messages about the changes needed to become healthier. But people's behaviour is influenced by circumstances and events, friends and family, education, job prospects, income, housing and environment. In this free course, Factors that influence health: An introduction, we look at how these factors, these wider social determinants, work together to influence our health for good or ill.
After studying this course, you should be able to:
- demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the social determinants of health
- demonstrate an ability to identify, use and critically evaluate different types of health information.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 Exploring the factors that influence health
- 2 Age, sex and hereditary factors
- 3 Individual lifestyle factors
- 4 Social and community influences
- 5 Living and working conditions
- 6 General social and environmental conditions
- 7 Investigating health inequalities
- Keep on learning
Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn, track your progress and on completion gain a statement of participation to demonstrate your learning to others. Make your learning visible!
Factors that influence health: An introduction
Promoting public health in the 21st century is a multidisciplinary endeavour ranging from the surveillance of health and disease in populations, through to the provision of health advice and information. It occurs at all levels, from the actions taken by individuals through to those taken by national and international agencies. It also takes place in many different settings: for example, in homes, workplaces, schools, hospitals, youth centres, nightclubs, and on the street.
There is widespread agreement on the significance of health, and improving the health of populations continues to be a major concern at local, national and international levels. National surveys in the UK and more globally have demonstrated that people are willing to spend more money on health services and that they rate good health as centrally important in living a full and satisfying life. There is now a heightened awareness of the need to promote public health.
In this course we look at how wider social determinants, work together to influence our health for good or ill.
This OpenLearn course is an adapted extract from the Open University course :.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Friday, 12th February 2016
Last updated on: Friday, 12th February 2016
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements and our FAQs section.
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