The sociological environment is an essential element in determining a person’s physical and mental health. Proper healthcare is a goal among many people; it is vital to address the determinants that affect health to promote a healthy living. The social environment entails both physical and sociological factors. The physical determinants include the neighborhood and built environment, natural environment, and social and economic context. The sociological factors include access to education, economic stabilityand job opportunities, public safety, and social norms. Balancing both the physical and social environment helps an individual to attain a health life.
Education is a vital element in determining an individual’s physical and mental health. A person’s ability to pursue education to a high level defines the health behavior and functional limitations. There is a relationship between high education attainment and proper health outcomes. The presence of school policies supports health promotion among students.
Social and Community Context
An individual’s family structure and social cohesion affects health; how one relates to the members of the family and social groups affects the mental and physical health. Social factors in the family structure, for example, poverty, are detrimental to a person’s health. A community’s social behaviors influence an individual’s health, for instance, a household affected by drug abuse will have sickly people. A society’s perception on discrimination and equity is influential on the members’ mental health; a community that believes in equality among its members rears a healthy environment for its members (Masi, Mensah, McLeod, & Gadacz, 1995).
Access to employment opportunities creates a stable social environment for an individual’s mental and physical health (Treiber, 2005). Poverty leads to an increase in illnesses among people due to lack of proper health care. Homelessness due to poverty is a common cause of diseases among people; poor households have higher chances of having sick children. The social environment factors tend to be passed from one generation to another, which increases the probability of transferring the disadvantage to future generations. The employment status determines the welfare of a person; high ranking employees are economically stable, and achieve their lifetime goals within the scheduled time. These achievements create mental and physical stability, which gives a person a healthy environment for development.
Health and Healthcare
Access to proper medical care such as clinical and preventive care has positive effects to a person’s mental and physical health. Healthy people acquire primary care, for example, the community–based health promotion and other wellness programs. Improvement of health technology is essential for a healthy society.
Neighborhood and Build Environment
This physical factor is essential in determining an individual’s physical and mental health. The quality of housing affects health in various aspects, for instance, the attractiveness of an environment determines people’s readiness to socialize with their neighbors. High crime and violence areas affect people’s mental health in a negative manner due to insecurity and absence of social relations (Beaulieu, Lefrancois, Leclerc, Dube, & Al, 2002). Access to healthy foods has a positive effect on a person’s health while lack of food is detrimental to the welfare of people.
Health is a concern to various people such as policy makers, practitioners, and members of the public. There are several factors in the social environment, both physical and social, which affect health. The physical factors include neighborhood and built environment and natural environment. The social factors include education, economic stability, health and health care, and social and community context. It is essential to balance these factors to achieve a healthy life among people.
Beaulieu, M., Lefrancois, R., Leclerc, G., Dube, M., & al, e. (2002).The Impacts of Fear of Crime on Mental Health Of Older Adults. The Gerontologist, 42(1), 165.
Masi, R., Mensah, L. L., McLeod, K. A., & Gadacz, R. R. (1995). Health & cultures: Vol 1, policies, professional practices & education; vol II: Programs, services & care // review. Canadian Ethnic Studies, 27(2), 196-200
Treiber, L. A. (2005). Workplace organization, labor process control, and occupational health. (Order No. 3232723, North Carolina State University). 188-188 p.