Value on Health Interdependence

Health is a collective concern. As we begin to see how healthier communities create healthier individuals, the mindset surrounding health and well-being will change for the better.

RWJF’s Survey on National Health Attitudes found that only 34% of adults understand the impact of their surroundings on their personal health. The survey looked at a number of factors that can influence an individual’s health, including:

  • Neighborhood options for healthy food + exercise
  • Amount of social support
  • Physical environment (e.g. clean air or water)
  • Community safety
  • Where a person lives
  • Examples set by people around you

Source:  RWJF Survey on National Health Attitudes, 2015

 

Value on Well-being

Do we value improving health to the same extent that we care about the quality of our schools, our housing, and our safety? When we understand that by spending more time on health promotion and not simply treating illness, we will be on the way to building a Culture of Health.

We can understand the value people place on well-being by looking at how highly they prioritize investments in health and wellness. Such investments could include, but are not limited to:

  • Support for equal opportunities
  • Healthy food
  • Decent housing
  • Alternative forms of transportation
  • Safe places for physical activity

The RWJF Survey on National Health Attitudes found that nearly ⅓ of Americans don’t prioritize any investments in health and well-being.

Source: RWJF Survey on National Health Attitudes, 2015

Public Discussion on Health Promotion and Well-being

In a Culture of Health, our public discourse will focus less on treating illness and more on health promotion and disease prevention. Discussions that support wellness and well-being reflect an overall improvement in our mindset and expectations about health in this country.

Social media provides a lens on how the population thinks and feels. With its millions of active monthly users, Twitter is one of the widest public forums for these discussions and, along with data analytics, can illuminate how individuals discuss health. For instance, in 2014, Americans sent about 10 wellness tweets for every 12 acute care tweets; “wellness” tweets often described healthy behaviors (e.g., eating or exercise), while “acute care” tweets often described health care services and medical occupations.

Source: Twitter, 2014