Health Behaviors Data

Health behaviors are critical to achieving optimal health. In order to better understand how to improve health behaviors, we must first understand what drives health outcomes.

Health behaviors are actions taken by individuals that impact their health such as smoking and physical activity. Health behaviors account for approximately 30% of health outcomes, but being healthy is about more than simply wanting to make healthy choices. Our health today has been shaped over time by our opportunities, our sense of community belonging, and our environments. People can’t make healthy choices if healthy options aren’t available to them. And not all environments provide the same opportunities - many people experience unequal access to job opportunities, education, transportation options, quality housing, affordable healthy foods, discrimination-free workplaces, to name a few. It is necessary to link data on social, economic, and environmental conditions with rates of disease or individual health behaviors to strengthen our understanding of what creates health and health inequity. Insights gained from exploring health behavior data can be used to design interventions that enable healthier behaviors.