Comment on: “Equity in Physical Activity: A Misguided Goal”
As three self-identified ‘equity advocates’, we read “Equity in Physical Activity: A Misguided Goal”  with great interest. Nuzzo argues equity in physical activity promotion is misguided and, therefore, interventions should aim to “increase physical activity in groups that are most sedentary and/or at greatest health risk to a level that is as high as is feasible and possible, irrespective of how that new level compares with other groups”. Here, we demonstrate that the influence of social inequalities means achieving Nuzzo’s goal actually relies upon equitable intervention. Far from misguided, equity is fundamentally misconstrued in Nuzzo’s commentary. We begin by clarifying the central tenets of equity and then respond to Nuzzo’s three key claims that equity approaches are (1) aimed at achieving equal physical activity levels across demographic groups; (2) characterised by flawed underlying assumptions; and (3) bettered by more objective and less politically motivated...
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Oli Williams was supported to write this letter by the UK National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care East Midlands. At the time of writing, Stephanie Coen held a Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). No sources of funding were used to assist Kass Gibson in the preparation of this letter. The views expressed in this letter are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the National Health Service, NIHR, or the Department of Health and Social Care.
Conflict of Interest
Oli Williams, Stephanie Coen and Kass Gibson declare that they have no conflicts of interest relevant to the content of this letter.
- 2.Marmot M. The health gap: the challenge of an unequal world. London: Bloomsbury; 2015.Google Scholar
- 7.World Health Organization. Global recommendations on physical activity for health. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2010.Google Scholar
- 9.Smith KE, Hill S, Bambra C, editors. Health inequalities: critical perspectives. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 2016.Google Scholar
- 10.Hill S. Axes of health inequalities and intersectionality. In: Smith KE, Hill S, Bambra C, editors. Health inequalities: critical perspectives. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 2016. p. 95–108.Google Scholar
- 14.Wilkinson RG, Pickett K. The spirit level: why equality is better for everybody. London: Penguin; 2010.Google Scholar
- 15.Engels F. The condition of the working class in England. London: Penguin Books Ltd; 2009.Google Scholar