Sign In
Boston Public Health Commission Home

Social Determinants of Health


The places where we live, learn, work and play have a tremendous impact on our health. Receiving proper medical care and regular physicians' visits are essential for detecting and curing illness. Access to health care can only account for 10 to 15 percent of preventable deaths. Social factors such as housing, education, income, transportation, access to healthy affordable food, and employment greatly influence the health and quality of life in communities. These social factors, generally referred to as the social determinants of health, determine whether individuals have parks and playgrounds to exercise, full-service supermarkets to buy fresh and affordable fruits and vegetables, living-wage paying job opportunities to support their families, and other, necessary resources that allow them to thrive. As public health advocates, educators, and leaders, we must encourage people to make healthy choices, but must also remember that people can only make healthy choices if they have healthy options. (Robert Wood Johnson Commission to Build a Healthier America)​

Boston Public Health Commission
1010 Massachusetts Ave, 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02118.
Phone:(617) 534-5395 Email: