Introducing public health
Introducing public health

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Introducing public health

2 Thinking about your own health

Now test out the comments from people in Coventry about influences on health by considering influences on your own health.

Activity 2 Influences on your health

30 minutes

Draw a circular diagram with yourself at the centre. Position the factors that influence your health around the circle. If the link to your health is indirect use dotted lines and if there is a direct link use thicker lines. Use distance to denote effect: the closer, the stronger the impact.

Does your diagram support the argument that health and ill-health are influenced – or determined – by a wide range of factors and forces?


How many different influences did you include? Are there any patterns in terms of which factors connected directly and which indirectly? When I tried this I quickly ran out of space. In addition to the impact of work, income, housing and education on my health I also thought of family, friends and colleagues, the quality and availability of services and resources provided by my employer, local authority, central government and so on. I protect my own health by earning money to buy food, clothing, housing and heating but having decent local shops, leisure and health services is also important, By no means all the factors influencing my health are under my control – for example, the possible impact of climate change or economic recession.


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