Environmental change occurs within the lived-environment (economic, social, or physical). Our homes, school, places of employment, places of worship, parks, playgrounds and other daily settings have a profound impact on how we live our lives.
Often, policy changes aim to improve the environment in some way. As noted in the Health in All Policies Guide for State and Local Governments, societal problems are inextricably linked, including the “chronic illness epidemic, growing inequality and health inequities, rising healthcare costs, an aging population, climate change and related threats to our natural resources, and the lack of efficient strategies for achieving governmental goals with shrinking resources” (Rudolph et al., 2013, p.7). If health depends on environmental factors, then the government and society should factor health into the decision-making processes as systems are built and policies are created and implemented.
Rudolph, L., Caplan, J., Ben-Moshe, K. & Dillon, L. (2013). Health in all policies: A guide for state and local governments. Washington, DC and Oakland, CA: American Public Health Association and Public Health Institute. Retrieved from http://www.phi.org/resources/?resource=hiapguide