The Health Foundation has funded four projects as part of its £1.2 million Social and Economic Value of Health in a Place programme, which is designed to generate new knowledge about the ways in which the physical and mental health of a population shapes their social and economic outcomes.
Good health is important to us and for our society – a healthy population is one of the nation’s most important assets. Health is valuable in its own right, but through this programme we are exploring how the health of a population might help create thriving economies and communities.
Economic and social factors have complex and dynamic relationships with health. While much is known about the impact of social and economic factors on health outcomes, relatively little is understood about the impact of health on the social and economic outcomes of individuals and populations.
The projects will focus on understanding the relationship between a given population’s health and the health of individuals within that population. They will also focus on establishing the definitions and metrics needed to examine the relationship between the health of a population in a place and the social and economic outcomes of that place.
Research teams from UK universities have each been awarded between £250,000 and £350,000, with their projects running for a maximum of two years.*
The projects are:
- Children’s places: how they can shape health and influence social and economic outcomes
Imperial College London
This project will look at how the health of secondary school children in the UK is influenced by the characteristics of the physical and virtual places in which they spend their time.
- Health of Older People in Places (HOPE): an asset for economic and social improvement for all
University College London
This project will focus on whether the proportion of individuals in a place with good health is associated with better labour market-related social and economic outcomes of people who reside in those places.
- Novel methods to explore the value of cognitive health in a place
University College London
This project will explore the relationship between cognition – how we mentally acquire and process information – and place, creating a ‘cognitive footprint’ that measures the impact of different factors on people’s cognition over time.
- The health of places and the health and outcomes of individuals in those places
University of Manchester
This project that will use algorithm and modelling techniques to investigate the extent to which the health of an individual is shaped by the average health of the places they identify with.
Contact at the Health Foundation
Programme and Policy Officer
020 7257 8031
*subject to contracts being finalised with the lead organisation of each project.