Social Environments

The importance of social support also extends to the broader community. Civic vitality refers to the strength of social networks within a community, region, province or country. It is reflected in the institutions, organizations and informal giving practices that people create to share resources and build attachments with others. The array of values and norms of a society influence in varying ways the health and well being of individuals and populations. In addition, social stability, recognition of diversity, safety, good working relationships, and cohesive communities provide a supportive society that reduces or avoids many potential risks to good health. A healthy lifestyle can be thought of as a broad description of people’s behaviour in three inter-related dimensions: individuals; individuals within their social environments (eg. family, peers, community, workplace); the relation between individuals and their social enivronment.

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