What is health promotion

What is health promotion2018-10-20T10:58:51+10:00
What is health promotion? is a question that few ever consider. Mostly people take the meaning they have created in their mind for granted and think everyone sees health promotion as advertising campaigns from the government or other health group, but health promotion is much more than this. What is health promotion? Well, let’s take a moment to listen to VicHealth.

As you can see, health promotion is more than just advertisements. It involves policy changes, environmental improvements, Workplace Health and Safety, minimising risk behaviours, improving protective behaviours, creating supportive environments and networks for people as well as providing access to health care (just to mention a few).

Health promotion is the process of enabling people to increase control, and improve their health. That means, health promotion is anything people or groups etc do in order to increase the power individuals have over their own health. This flows directly from the recognition that health has various determinants, some out of our control, and many hard to change. This can be seen in the World Health Organisation’s answer to what is health promotion?

the process of enabling people to increase control over their health and its determinants, and thereby improve their health


Health promotion seeks to change the social determinants of health (or at least empower the individual to change the determinant for themselves), the socioeconomic, sociocultural, environmental and individual determinants so that they are favourable and enable the individuals to improve their own health.

In response to the question “what is health promotion?” the WHO have added:

It covers a wide range of social and environmental interventions that are designed to benefit and protect individual people’s health and quality of life by addressing and preventing the root causes of ill health, not just focusing on treatment and cure.[2]

WHO identify three (3) key elements to health promotion:

  1. Good governance for health
  2. Health literacy
  3. Healthy cities.
The syllabus for this dot point says: Students learn about:
  • what is health promotion

Practice questions

Define health promotion? 2 marks What is health promotion? Provide an example. 4 marks   [1] WHO (2009), Milestones in Health Promotion Statements from Global Conferences http://www.who.int/healthpromotion/Milestones_Health_Promotion_05022010.pdf?ua=1 [2] http://www.who.int/features/qa/health-promotion/en/