The first step toward promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in the fitness industry is to understand its importance, both to you as a professional and to the industry as a whole. In the long-term, it requires an ongoing dialogue with yourself, during which you are open to exploring where you may have been falling short in terms of promoting EDI and then implementing strategies to improve your day-to-day practices.
The first step of promoting EDI in the fitness industry is understanding what health equity is and what causes health disparities. Health equity is defined by the World Health Organization as “the absence of avoidable or remedial differences among groups of people, whether those groups are defined socially, economically, demographically, or geographically.”
In addition to race and ethnic differences, these disparities can also be based on gender, sexual identity, age, disability, socioeconomic status, and geographic location.
While maintaining a healthy lifestyle through behavior modification is necessary to improve health at the individual level, research from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that improving population health and achieving health equity can happen only if the social, economic, and environmental factors that influence health are properly addressed.