One Size Does Not Fit All

Published in partnership with Start Moving Start Living


Michelle A. Leak, EdD, MBA
Operations Administrator, Mayo Clinic Florida, Jacksonville, Florida

Yashika J. Watkins, PhD, MPH
Assistant Professor of Health Studies, Chicago State University, Chicago, Illinois

Why is this illustration important?

It depicts the importance of achieving equity, which is key to producing the most optimal health outcomes possible. Health equity includes the absence of disparities in health, health care, health status, and the living and working conditions that impact health.   The Race Matters Institute describes, “The route to achieving equity will not be accomplished through treating everyone equally. It will be achieved by treating everyone equitably, or justly according to their circumstances.” In other words, achieving health equity does not include a ‘one size fits all’ approach; rather, it includes a sized approach – one that is sized according to each person’s needs.

What does the ‘one size does not fit all’ approach mean for musculoskeletal health disparities?

Health disparities are used to measure progress towards achieving health equity. Given this, it is assumed that as health equity improves, health disparities will diminish.  Yet, health disparities specific to musculoskeletal health are increasing. With increasing rates of arthritis diagnosis, disparities in arthritis and functional limitations are highest by gender (i.e., women) and by race (i.e., African Americans) and ethnicity (i.e., Hispanic/Latinos).

How can we together make an impact on musculoskeletal disparities?  Read more at StartMovingStartLiving