Defining Health Promotion

As a field of practice, policy, and research, health promotion is dedicated to “enabling people to increase control over, and to improve, their health.”1

Health promotion operates across multiple domains. Broadly speaking, it includes:

  • Frameworks, such as the Ottawa Charter, that define key principles and areas of action;
  • Local, regional, and state-wide polices that direct action;
  • On-the-ground programs and projects in a variety of substantive areas, including physical activity, substance use, housing, and chronic-disease management; and
  • Professional practices by health care providers such a physicians and nurses

Defining health promotion
The most well-known definition of health promotion is from the World Health Organization’s Ottawa Charter, which was developed in 1986 at the First International Conference on Health Promotion in Ottawa, Canada.

This logo was developed to illustrate five key action areas for health promotion and supports  the idea that health promotion is a comprehensive, multi-strategy approach with diverse strategies and methods.

 

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