A Voice for Health Equity

Despite the abundance of evidence on the importance of physical activity for a healthy lifestyle for individuals of all ages, races, and abilities, there are barriers to access in every-day life. 

As a result, millions of Americans lack the appropriate assessment, prescription, referral, and counseling for physical activity that would prevent or manage many of the most painful, distressing, and fatal chronic diseases.

With America’s “reactive” rather than “proactive” health care system, many fall through the cracks. From people with disabilities to those who are excluded for socioeconomic reasons, there are barriers that prevent people from having access to physical activity.

Dr. NiCole Keith specializes in being a voice for those who don’t have a voice. She is dedicated to research and programming that increases physical activity participation, improves fitness, and positively influences health outcomes while addressing health equity.

“It is vitally important that all people remain physically active throughout their lifetime,” says Keith.  

Keith is an Indiana University Center for Aging Research and Regenstrief Institute scientist, associate dean of faculty affairs, and a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). She was the 2020-2021 President of ACSM and serves on several national committees.

She co-founded Physically Active Residential Communities and Schools—a partnership between Indianapolis Public Schools, Eskenazi Health, and IUPUI, that provides exercise opportunities for over 4,000 Indianapolis residents living in inner-city communities. Keith serves on the National Physical Activity Plan Executive Committee and has a focus on health equity. Her research examines healthy aging, physical activity participation, fitness, and health outcomes. She has dedicated her career to positively influencing health outcomes for socio-economically-challenged community residents.

Keith presents the 2023 Harold D. and Rhoda N. Roberts Memorial Lecture in the Natural Sciences at Colorado College: "Ageism, Racism, Sexism, and Other Unfortunate Isms that Present Barriers to Physical Activity."


Report an issue - Last updated: 02/21/2023