Girls and Physical Activity
The Chief Medical Officers (CMO) recommend that all children and young people should engage in moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity for at least 60 minutes and up to several hours every day. Research shows that;
- by age 7 girls are already less active than boys and this disparity widens as they move from childhood into adolescence.
- secondary-age girls are more likely to experience barriers to participation than boys
- the biggest drop-off occurs during the transition from primary to secondary school, with disruption to friendship groups and declining body confidence affectinggirls’ participation in PE and sport
The Youth Sport Trust and Women in Sport carried out a survey to better understand girls’ attitudes towards PE and physical activity and the challenges they face in getting active. These insights have been used to improve the sports offering for girls in schools across the UK.
The survey data shows:
- Secondary school aged boys (11-16) are happier with the amount of physical activity they take part in and enjoy it more than girls (71% of boys compared to 56% of girls).
- Pressure of school work and low confidence are much bigger barriers to taking part in physical activity for girls than boys (24% of girls compared to 13% of boys)
- Satisfaction with body image for girls declines with age. One in four are unhappy with their body image at 11-13 years and this figure increases to one in three by the time they reach 14-16 years.
- Girls do not see the relevance of the skills they learn in PE to their lives (45% of girls compared to 60% of boys).
Has your school made an extra effort to encourage your female pupils be more active?
If you have put any interventions in place, please fill out the following form and send it back to your Healthy Schools Delivery Advisor. We will share the information you give us with other Cornish schools who want to develop similar interventions.
Cornwall Healthy Schools Training