• health promotion;
  • health-promoting settings;
  • lifespan;
  • nursing

Aim.  To develop a unique framework which combines the concepts of settings and lifespan where they are applied to health promotion.

Background.  The influential World Health Organisation’s 1986 Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion supported certain settings being nominated as unique social systems for enabling specific health promotion activity. These initially included a whole raft of proposed settings ranging from the micro to macro; these at the time mainly being hospitals, communities, schools, workplaces, cities, villages, islands and the home and family. Several other settings have since also been added to the list – which now include health-promoting universities and health-promoting prisons. Most of the mentioned settings have in more recent times being acknowledged in the nursing literature.

Design.  Discursive.

Method.  A critical examination and exploration of the existing health promotion literature related to both settings and lifespan.

Results.  It is possible to combine the related, but hitherto unexplored, concepts of health promotion settings and lifespan. This has resulted in a useable framework to further assist practitioners with their health promotion work.

Conclusion.  What has not yet surfaced in both the nursing and the general health promotion literature is that most settings can be linked as a whole, not just by their geographical location and proximity to each other, but also to the fact that they tend to follow a linear direction that ranges across the total lifespan.

Relevance to clinical practice.  Viewing health promotion in the way that this framework proposes further assists in locating and clarifying the often confused and contested position of health promotion in nursing.