by Lisa Vu, WHF Intern
For this month’s theme, Promoting Community Health, we highly stress the value of the social determinants of health. Things we may not usually think about may contribute to our well being. By making ourselves more aware of these social factors, we can build quicker paths to healthier lives as well as become the Healthiest State in the Nation! Read on to learn about a few social factors that influence our health.
Maximize your Positive Social Relationships
Think about the people you surround yourself with on a daily basis. Do they influence your decisions to make healthy choices? In a “Futurewell” blog post, the author, Jay Parkinson, talks about how his health improved by the way he maximized the his relationships. He hung out closely with someone who was very active, and started spending time a lot of time with someone who loves cooking. By just adding more positive influences to his daily interactions, he was able to improve his health. Use the “My BFFs” and the “Health Partners” tools to maximize your best social relationships.
A Better Education for Better Health
Health also starts where we learn. In an essay by Richard W. Riley, he states that “Eight times more lives can be saved with education than with medical advances.” By getting a higher education, one increases their chances of having better health than those who are not educated. Those who do not graduate high school are likely to earn less money, work multiple jobs and work longer hours, leaving less time and energy devoted to maintaining good health. Also, the more educated a person is, the more likely he or she is to make healthier choices. Health and education are linked in more ways than we think.
Choose the Best Living Communities
Where you live can be one of the biggest influences on the outcome of your health. Several factors that help this influence include the access to nutritious foods, access to parks and recreational areas, air quality, availability of safe housing and access to reliable public transit.