We know that girls are not doing as much physical activity as boys. Girls aged 11-18 years old exercise less regularly and for less time than boys. Only 8% of girls meet the Chief Medical Officer’s recommendation that young people aged 5 -18 should do 60 minutes of physical activity every day. The figure for boys is double that at 16%.
Understanding young people’s attitudes, motivations, barriers and behaviours is the key to increasing their participation in sport and physical activity.
In 2016 Women in Sport and the Youth Sport Trust surveyed over 26,000 students from 138 secondary schools in England and Northern Ireland which had signed up to the Girls Active programme. For the first time, we included boys in our quantitative research, to help us understand the differences and similarities in activity levels and attitudes across both
genders (21,000 girls and 5,000 boys).
We hope our findings will be used to help teachers and other sports providers offer girls a more tailored programme of activities that meet their needs and encourage wider participation. This will give girls access to numerous physical and mental health benefits as well as the transferable skills and confidence.