The choices a person makes throughout life, in addition to a multitude of socioeconomic, cultural and environmental factors have a positive or negative impact on their health. The following diagram (Dahlgren and Whitehead, 1991) shows the multitude of determinants that influence health.
Health promotion involves raising awareness of what constitutes a healthy lifestyle. In addition, it encompasses the delivery of services that help individuals make informed decisions or support them to make changes that can positively influence their health.
Health improvement, however, is larger than health promotion activity – it strives to close the gaps in health between areas of highest and lowest deprivation: these are known as health inequalities. Because health is affected not only by lifestyle choices but by a wide range of other factors, health improvement must address all determinants of health including working conditions, housing, employment, education, and healthcare services.
If you are a practitioner or a member of the public and wish to find out about local health and wellbeing services and support, please click here to access the Warwickshire Health and Wellbeing Portal.
For further information see NHS Health Checks.