Health is created and lived by people within the settings of their every day lives and through the circumstances in which they are born, grow, live, work and age. Health promotion action works towards improving the conditions of daily life by building healthy public policies, creating supportive environments, strengthening community action, developing personal skills and reorienting health services. Health promotion is a cost-effective way to improve public health and reduce economic costs of illness.
One of the key multi-disciplinary and multi-sectoral approaches to health promotion and the prevention of disease and disabilities is the Healthy Settings approach. This approach offers excellent opportunities to address social determinants of health, by involving various stakeholders and reaching the people in the settings of their everyday lives.
The settings we live in, including for example, cities, villages, communities, schools, workplaces and marketplaces, must be ‘Healthy Settings’, in which risk factors for disease and disabilities are minimized. Minimizing risk factors includes direct action and improvements to the built environment, but it also includes the development, implementation of and adherence to policies that ensure healthy environments, including smoke-free places.