Jan 07

Are women less physically active?

Women are less physically active at both ends of life than men, two new studies suggest.

Researchers studied activity levels in school children and the over 70s – and in both cases found males tended to be more active.

The studies are being presented at the UK Society for Behavioural Medicine annual conference.

A study from John Moores University in Liverpool found that girls aged 10 and 11 participate in 6% less vigorous activity at playtime compared to boys of the same age. Girls were more likely to spend time in smaller groups playing verbal games, conversing and socialising. Boys, however, were more likely to play in larger groups. playing more active games such as football.

So boys play football and girls stand around talking and socialising…hardly news is it!

The gender difference was mirrored in a second study, led by the University of Bristol, which looked at activity levels among the over-70s.  In general, levels of physical activity were very low among most people of both sexes aged over 70.

More than 70% of the people who took part in the study walked for fewer than 5,000 steps a day.

However, women were more likely to be less active than men.

Researcher Professor Ken Fox said:

“Men accomplish more higher intensity physical activity than women and this seems to be explained by trips out of the house. However, there is evidence that they also sit down for longer periods in the day. Women do more lower intensity activity which probably represents daily tasks around the house. This would suggest that traditional family roles are still identifiable in this generation.” 

So once again, evidence points to men maybe running a few errands then sitting around for long periods while women wait on them around the house. Who would have thought it?


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