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Young Females and Physical Activity



The Statistics:

Data indicates that young females are often less active than their males peers with the biggest difference being shown in teenage years.


The Barriers That Prevent Young Girls From Enjoying and Participating in Physical Activity:




It is important to note that in reality the practical and logistical challenges and personal and emotional reasons, are often interlinked and inseparable. It is therefore crucial we attempt to address both the practical and emotional barriers when encouraging young females to become more active.




The Youth Sport Trust and Women in Sport Survey 

The Youth Sport Trust and Women in Sport conducted 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).


"Change the offer to suit young females and girls - don't expect females and girls to change to fit sport and exercise"





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.

Girls Physical activity intervention feedback form.docx


Cornwall Healthy Schools Training