What’s Driving Our Health - Findings

Improving the health of our nation starts with broadening our view of what health means. That’s why we’re advancing a national conversation around whole health and the factors that drive it.

Key Terms & Definitions

Social Drivers of Health

Conditions in the places where people live, learn, work, and play that affect a wide range of health and quality-of-life risks and outcomes

Whole Health

A holistic view of health that considers the physical, behavioral and social drivers.

What’s Driving Our Health

An initiative to improve our understanding of whole health, built around Elevance Health’s landmark report Driving Our Health: A study exploring health perceptions in America.

We conducted a nationally representative survey to understand how people in the U.S. think about health at this moment in time.

Here’s what we discovered:

We can do more to connect the dots on whole health and its drivers.

While many people in the U.S. are aware that drivers like financial stability, mental health, and access to nutritious food can significantly impact our health, we need to expand our understanding to include all the drivers that shape health.

Infographic showing we underestimate the impact of air pollution
Infographic showing stats about physical health in America
Infographic showing that people are more likely to get help with physical illness than mental illness

Our experiences and circumstances shape our perceptions of whole health.

Backgrounds and circumstances can greatly influence our ability to meet our basic needs and access services. Inequities among demographic groups shape an individual’s view of whole health and the ability to advance equity.

Infographic showing stats on unmet social, economic, and health needs
Infographic showing americans of color are disproportionately affected by social drivers of health

We believe everyone is responsible for improving whole health

In the U.S., consumers believe that action is needed to address the social drivers of health, but no one entity should be held solely responsible. To meaningfully improve health, we need to reimagine the health  system to support this broader view and continue to strengthen the communities that place a foundational and vital role in individual health.

Infographic with text about social drivers of health
Infographic showing percentage of who survey respondents say should be responsible for SDH