Promoting health equity through physical activity
In 2017, writers for ACSM reported that:
creating equitable opportunities for physical activity participation will aid in reducing inequities in health behaviors as well as promote equity in health outcomes (e.g., cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and diabetes). Equity in health implies that 'ideally everyone should have a fair opportunity to attain his or her full potential and, more pragmatically, that no one should be disadvantaged from achieving this potential, if it can be avoided'.
In the same report, it was noted that people are less likely (and often unable) to meet daily and weekly physical activity needs due to their belonging to an underserved social group. For instance:
- only 31% of adults with a disability meet the guidelines for a physical activity, as opposed to 54% of those with no disability;
- 27% of non-Hispanic black girls label themselves "inactive" in comparison to 14% of non-Hispanic white girls;
- 18% of girls are inactive as adolescents, compared to 10% of boys;
- LGBTQ+ identifying adolescents report 1.2 - 2.6 hours/week less activity than adolescents who do not identify as LGBTQ+
In order to help combat these disparities, athletic trainers can promote community engagement in underserved populations through four specific components: 1) creating public awareness 2) developing educational initiatives 3) building partnerships of practice, and 4) using evidence-based approaches to evaluate interventions.
Additionally, athletic trainers should practice with the NATA Code of Ethics in mind.
The following websites are all vetted resources that work toward at least one of these components: