Social & Environmental Determinants of Health

Social and environmental conditions can affect people’s health powerfully. These conditions include the places where people are born and live, the type of work that they do, their income and wealth, or the type of schooling they have completed.

These factors can affect both mental and physical health and well-being. For example, access to affordable healthy food in your neighborhood grocery store and workplace affects the kinds of food you eat, and therefore your risk of developing obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and some types of cancer.  Other social determinants of health include socioeconomic, demographic, environmental and cultural factors.

IHPS researchers examine these social and environmental determinants of health and how they can be best addressed to support the health of entire populations. This work directly informs policymakers, community organizations, and other decision-makers seeking to address social and environmental determinants of health through policies and programs.  


white board with post it explaining social determinants of health

experts in this area