Environment is a key factor for health
Lots of factors contribute to health inequality, but access to environments where you can be physically active is key.
Walking and cycling are among the best ways of being active, but we know that many areas that aren’t conducive to that. Being able to walk and cycle about safely is something that a lot deprived postcodes don’t currently have. It’s incumbent on people designing the built environment to have active travel as a mandatory part of their planning, which it isn’t currently.
A lack of peer support is also an issue. The government is trying to introduce the Daily Mile into daily life, and we welcome that, but if you haven’t been physically active, it’s difficult to get into that lifestyle.
As much as 70 per cent of health is determined by things outwith healthcare and genetics - so we need to address social inequality if we’re serious about improving the nation’s health. l Public Health Registrar Josie Murray is the advocacy chairwoman in Scotland for the Faculty of Public Health