The Blog

May 18, 2021

What are Social Determinants of Health (SDoH)?

This image lists some of the social determinants of health.

The phrase “social determinants of health” (SDoH) is often used in the jargon of every day health champions and advocates. But what does it mean to the everyday person?

Social determinants of health are the social and economic conditions that influence your health status and your community’s health status. Health starts in homes, workplaces, neighborhoods, and communities. Focusing on the social determinants of health means focusing and working on the root-problems of public health.

So, what are the categories of determinants? Let’s take a deeper dive into what makes up an individual’s health and relationship with health!

1. Economic Stability

Examples of “economic stability” are employment, food insecurity, housing instability, and poverty. All of these items determine the health of an individual. Having proper housing, the availability of food, and a steady income ensures one has the basics to lead a healthy life. While this may seem obvious, it’s not necessarily something most people think of when they think “how can I be healthier”?

1. Education

Proper education from childhood development to college graduation is vital for setting up a person to be successful in health. Education typically leads to better jobs, more security, and access to health care.

3. Social and Community Contact

People’s relationships and interactions with family, friends, co-workers, and community members have a major impact on their health. Social support and positive relationships at home, work, and in the community can help reduce negative impacts such as unsafe neighborhoods, discrimination, or money insecurity.

4. Health and Health Care

Five million people throughout Texas don’t have health care or insurance. This means they don’t have the means or availability to be covered. Why? There are various reasons people may not have it—they don’t know they have the ability to get it for free, they struggle with the language health care providers use, or they don’t think they can afford it. Health care makes staying healthy and prepared easier. Check out Texas 2036 Health Coverage Policy Explorer!

5. Neighborhood and Built Environment

What does your community offer you in terms of environment? Do you have parks, trails, community gardens, or farmer’s markets? These environments promote healthy living and greatly affect how active people are throughout your community. In order to help their community environment, the Rio Grande Valley region created and is in the process of developing the Caracara Trails, promoting it as “active tourism” to bring in more revenue to the town and make community members more active!

Want to learn more about the social determinants of health and how you’re affected? Follow us on social media to learn more!

If you’d like to dive deeper on what social determinants of health affect you and you’re community, check out this brand new Texas 2036 tool!

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