When we think about what makes us healthy, we often think about health care. But to really understand what makes us healthy, we need to look at the bigger picture and the circumstances in which people are born, grow, live, work and age.

Our work exploring the social determinants of health explores how these factors shape our opportunities to be healthy and highlights how action from a wide range of organisations can create a healthier society. 

We also want to change the conversation to focus on health as an asset, rather than ill health as a burden.


Quick guide

What makes us healthy?

March 2018

This guide explores how a person’s opportunity for health is influenced by factors outside the...


Healthy lives for people in the UK

January 2017

The greatest influences on people's health and wellbeing come from outside health care, including...



Infographic: What makes us healthy?

To understand what shapes our health and wellbeing, we need to look at the bigger picture. This...


How is work good for our health?

By providing good work for all, we can reduce socio-economic inequalities and create a healthier...


How do our family, friends and community influence our health?

Infographic illustrating how our family, friends and community build the foundations for good...


Transport and health

Infographic looking at the links between our health and transport


Poverty and health

Infographic looking at how our money and resources can influence our health.


How do our education and skills influence our health?

Our latest infographic looks at how health is influenced by education and skills, and the...


How do our surroundings influence our health?

Infographic looking at how health is influenced by how places, spaces and buildings make us feel,...


Our food and our health

Infographic looking at how our health is influenced by the food we eat.


How does housing influence our health?

This infographic illustrates the main ways in which the links between housing and health play out.

Get involved


Thinking differently about health

Our health is shaped by a wide range of factors, from the jobs we do to the places where we live....

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Work with us

We look for talented and passionate individuals as everyone at the Health Foundation has an important role to play.

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The Q community

Q is an initiative connecting people with improvement expertise across the UK.

Find out more