What influences the health of individuals is the second critical questions for Better Health for Individuals. The key to this question is to get a really solid understanding of the determinants of health. This lays the foundation to better understand the degree of control people have over their health and how health is a social construct. The three (3) dot points of this critical question are:
- the determinants of health
- the degree of control individuals can exert over their health
- health as a social construct
The determinants of health are: individual, sociocultural, socioeconomic, and environmental factors. This is essentially a list of what influences the health of individuals. The determinants will come up over and over again both in Preliminary PDHPE and in HSC PDHPE. Therefore, understanding them deeply is a must.
Not only must you know the determinants, but you must know how they interact to affect a person’s health, and how certain factors are beyond a person’s control, while others are easily changed. As a person grows the degree of control generally increases and what influences the health of individuals begins to shift more to the individual rather than society.
However, health remains a social construct and societal influences and control over many determinants means that our society must work together to bring about better health for the individual. The determinants of health interrelate meaning that negative influences in one area, may impact upon another determinant and so on. Health needs to be assessed as a social construct and this construct used to analyse what influences the health of individuals. Particularly people groups who have poorer health outcomes.
What influences the health of individuals? is a great critical question. It brings together lots of information and seeks to shift students’ thoughts about health responsibility away from the personal only and towards a more complete picture of health and its influences.