The Life Course

Statement about life course 

An individual’s physical and mental health and wellbeing are influenced by their experiences throughout life, from conception to later life. The wider determinants of health (social, economic and environmental factors e.g. Education, housing, clean air and income) and behavioural risk factors (e.g. smoking, diet and physical activity) impact wellbeing at every stage of life and the accumulation of advantage or disadvantage result in different health outcomes.  

Systematic variation in the wider determinants of health can lead to health inequality. Adverse early life experiences can have lasting effects across the entire life course resulting in negative consequences for health in later years. Those who are impacted more by the negative influences on health often have a shorter life expectancy and can spend up to twenty fewer years in good health than those who live in the least deprived areas.  

A life course approach therefore focuses on a healthy start to life and considers the critical stages, transitions, and settings where large differences can be made in promoting or restoring health and wellbeing. 

Our work across the life course in Yorkshire and the Humber 

You can find out more about our work to improve health and wellbeing across the life course by clicking on the links below.