How to change environmental conditions for health

M.J. Gommers*, N. Gottlieb, G.J. Kok

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

19 Citations (Web of Science)


Since the Lalonde report, contemporary public-health theory has given steadily more attention to the role of environments in influencing health status. Environments, both social and physical, influence health directly or through complex interactions with behavior, genetics and health-care systems. They are also important for public-health because environments are the complex systems through which people are both empowered and exercise their empowerment. If public-health professionals are to play a significant role in influencing environments for health, they need analytical instruments that enable them to link specific environmental conditions with the actions necessary to improve them. These instruments must also enable public-health professionals to identify points of leverage for stimulating key actors to take the actions necessary to make environments more promoting of health. This article first presents one such analytical instrument. Then, building on examples relating to socio-economic health inequities, the analytical instrument is applied to reveal how it can add value to health professionals' effectiveness in planning interventions for more health-promoting environments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-87
JournalHealth Promotion International
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007

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