Public Health Education and Disability Inclusion

Public Health Girl

Unlikely Hikers at REI Dallas

I apologize for the lack of posts, I’ve been finishing up an Emergency Management Course, FEMA certifications, and getting all my things in order for my last two semesters. But, recently I was invited to a REI Plus Women’s trunk show at REI Dallas put together in conjunction with REI’s Force of Nature campaign and Jenny Bruso from Unlikely Hikers1|2|3|

Part of the reason I accepted the invitation and attended was I have some fit problems myself, and it’s hard to find something that doesn’t look frumpy or isn’t exacerbating fit issues I already struggle with.
So why is or even how is this a public health issue? Because getting moving, being able to do things leads to a healthier population. It lowers risks of heart or cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and increases bone density in at risk individuals; among other things. (Whitbourne, 2012)4

But there’s also the problem of not being able to find comfortable clothing if you’re above a size 0. It’s either frumpy, or just doesn’t come in the desired size. Now I’m not saying that people who are a size 0 don’t have issues, I’m saying that currently our society is more than happy to market to them; instead of women and individuals who might be a bit “squishy” to use my friend’s favorite polite society term.
The event was really great, and we were given the chance to talk to reps from popular brands like Columbia and Brooks about many of the challenges we faced as women or persons who identified as women (not what your chromosomes identify you as, just so we’re clear).

Many of us had the same issue, where we wanted to be active.. but companies just weren’t providing us with gear that would be comfortable, fit correctly, and last long enough for us to go on our adventures. Me personally? I go jeeping, camping, hiking, biking. All really fun adventures that are definitely worth writing home about, but at the same time it’s a struggle to find something that I will feel confident I can accomplish these things in.

So, going back to why this is an issue for Public Health. It’s about inclusiveness, it’s about encouraging populations to become active and healthy along the way. It’s about getting out there and accomplishing something, even if it’s just a walk around the block! It’s not a cure all, but it can certainly be helpful, and it might even be fun.
If your curious for more info, give Jenny’s site a look, and maybe become an unlikely hiker yourself.

1Jenny Bruso’s Website and Blog
2Unlikely Hiker’s Offical Facebook
3Unlikely Hiker’s Official Meetup


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