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Determinants of Health

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                                                      Determinants of Health



                                                       Determinants of Health


According to the World Health Organization health can be defined as the state of mental, social and physical well-being and not just the absence of disease. Therefore, to be considered healthy one has to be physically fit, mentally stable and socially acceptable. There are many factors that determine the health of an individual. In order for a country to be economically stable people have to work. In order for people to work, they have to be of good health and a sound mind. There are physical, social and certain key environmental factors that are important in influencing the overall health of an individual in their workplaces.  Employees have a right to good health and therefore employers should strive to make workplaces health-friendly. The following are determinants of health in the workplace.

Physical activities.

Physical activity is an important determinant of health as it aids in the reduction of most cardiac diseases, improves one’s mental mood and boosts one’s energy levels. Lack of exercise increases fatigue thus increasing the risks of functional limitations and other health-related issues such as obesity. If employees fall sick the number of absent hours increases, this is a disadvantage to the employer Workplaces should encourage their employees to take part in physical activities. This will be advantageous to both employers and employees.  If employees are physically fit they work better. There are various ways in which employers can encourage physical activity in the workplace. They can set flexible working hours so that employees can take part in various physical activities either in the morning before going to work or in the evening. Physical activity can be promoted by marking some routes with considerable distances that employees can go for walks during breaks and after work. Employees should be encouraged to take stairs rather than elevators during working hours and negotiating for bargained fees in health clubs for their employees.

Consumption patterns

 A  good diet is crucial in promoting one’s health.. Eating a balanced diet is good for one’s health. This is because a healthy and balanced diet boosts one’s immune system, therefore, reducing chances of falling sick, therefore dietary goals should be among the major focuses of employers.There exist workplaces where employees are provided with various meals throughout the day. As employees spend most of their time working they will gladly consume what is offered to them. If a workplace offers its employees junk food then the majority of its employees will bear the various consequences that come with daily consumption of the improper diet. The consequences include cancer, diabetes, and dental caries. However, if a workplace provides its employees with the recommended balanced diet then it will promote good health among its employees. Presence of vending machines or cafeterias that serve unhealthy food to its employees also promotes poor health among its employees.

 Psychological and Social working conditions

The psychological conditions of a working environment affect the stress levels and mental health of its employees.  This is because a continuous tensional behavior leaves one vulnerable to various conditions, which can eventually lead to premature death. Stress and mental disturbances in the workplace lead to the deterioration of the health of employees.  A workplace should be a safe haven for employees such that if anyone has any pressing issues they should be able to raise them without any fear.  Workplaces that have relaxation sessions and aromatherapy have better functioning employees than those that do not.Employers should grant their employees access to mental health coaches and social activities promoted in the workplaces.


 Smoking is considered to have only negative effects on one’s body and there are various workplaces that allow their employees to smoke. Smoking does not only affect the health of the active smoker but also the health of other employers who are passive smokers. A workplace should be a smoking-free environment to protect everyone’s interest.

Alcohol and substance abuse.

Some workplaces have designated work bar areas where employees go to have a drink after work. Drinking alcohol does not only lead to physical health problems such as liver cirrhosis but also mental problems as it causes disorientation. Workplaces should be alcohol-free environment hence promoting the health of its employees and those with alcohol and other substance abuse problems should be given paid time-off to seek for solutions.

Toxic substances and physical hazards

There are jobs that require their employees to handle certain chemical and biological and substances during their day to day work. These jobs are mostly research related. Handling certain substances have proven to be quite dangerous. Chemicals such as chlorine and biological substances such as different strains and cultures of diseases such as HIV and tuberculosis can affect one’s bodies through the skin, cuts or even inhalation. When such a mistake occurs the health of employees is compromised. Therefore the presence of chemical and biological substances is a great determinant of health in the workplace.



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