Time To Get Our Girls Moving

   By drodriguez  Nov 03, 2008

Years ago it was common for parents and school officials to expect the boys to join sports teams and encourage the girls to take part in less physically demanding activities like home economics.  Though times have changed and progress has been made, there is still a pretty large gender gap when it comes to young boys and girls participating in sports and physical activities.

A recent article from Time Magazine reports about a new study put out by the Tucker Center for Research on Girls and Women in Sport at the University of Minnesota.  One very encouraging finding was that 1 in 3 young girls are now participating in organized sports.  This number is way up from a 1972 study that reported only 1 in 27 girls taking part in sports.

A worrisome finding from the study however was that the number of girls (especially when they become teens) who stay physically active outside the sporting arena is declining.  When measured against adolescent boys of the same age, the girls are only half as likely to be physically active.  Greater health risks are a big downside to young women avoiding physical activity.  But studies also show that inactive girls suffer more from low self-esteem and the ability to handle conflicts and make friends.

The Time Magazine article brings up the challenges young women face when trying to stay physically active throughout their adolescence.  The idea that it is not as important for women to stay active is still circulating among some parents and teachers and making its way to the younger generations.  Add to this the fact that a number of schools around the country do not even offer physical education within their curriculum and it is no wonder that a lot of girls are getting left out.

What do you think of the recent study that found teenage girls to be a lot less physically active than boys?

What can parents and teachers do to encourage young women to get active?

Make a Comment

blondlady by blondlady | Eden Prairie, MN
Mar 28, 2009

I think the automobile is to blame for kidsnot getting enough excercise. When I was young I walked to school, to friends houses, to local shopping. In college, I lived 11/4 mile from the campus and I walked everyday to and from. The college was in Wisconsin and it was cold in the winter but I still had to walk. Todays parents are driving their kids all day long. Is it possible that some of these kids activities are within walking distance.

mrsmccartney by mrsmccartney | Union, KY
Jan 18, 2009

I'm a teenage girl, (well, I was last year) and it's extremely hard to find time between extra curicular activities, school, and friends to pack in a workout. The Wii system by Nintendo is a GREAT way to stay moving, expecially if you have games such as Dance Dance Revolution, Wii Fit, and Wii Sports. All three of those games have special workout modes, and It's great for de stressing after a school day.

shanns316 by shanns316 | Mc Veytown, PA
Nov 28, 2008

my daughters partcipate in sports as well as when the weather is nice we walk and walk and walk to get them walking in the winter and out of the house we take them to the local mall or wal-mart, targe t and just make laps through the store we get exercise plus we get to see what the store has available. we also installed gym equipment weights and treadmill in our basement we are also encouraging them to ride their bikes more.

pinkshoes by pinkshoes | Rosewater South Australia, OU
Nov 20, 2008

My daughter also has no P.E. at her school and she's never been into sports. We go for a walk together at night if we can and she gets tired out before me. It's hard when teens now look forward to working to get money to buy the latest gadgets and not about body and health.

diakinaz by diakinaz | Tucson, AZ
Nov 11, 2008

I joined a gym with my 15 year old daughter and we're now going five days a week. It not only gives us time to spend together, but we're both making progress at moving more.

4barnes by 4barnes | ACWORTH, GA
Nov 11, 2008

My daughter has dance a couple days a week....but what I find sad is P.E. is not required anymore in the schools. With my daughter's schedule, she will not get any PE the next 3 yrs.

txgirl06 by txgirl06 | McAllen, TX
Nov 06, 2008

I try to work out every other day but what really has become my favorite 'work out' is walking or biking with my parents! It gives us a chance to spend time together at the end of our long days, talk about what we did that day, ect. I don't even realize that I'm working out until I get home all sweaty and flushed. So I think it's important for parents not only to teach their children to become physically active but to be apart of it as well. It may sound redundant, but children really do follow the examples their parents set. Just a few months ago I was a teen myself and engaging in activities such as these with my parents really motivates me and helps utilize the little time we have to spend together.

lhobbit by lhobbit | EASTON, MD
Nov 06, 2008

Sports are a great way for teenage girl's to get exercise and stay busy.

shawndra by shawndra | UNION, WA
Nov 05, 2008

It's not easy being a teenager now days,There is so much responsibility put on there shoulders,I say Any teen needs to be involved in some kind of after school activity,They could walk anywhere No car No bus No friends Cars,Just old fashion walking. Parents could get involved and have family activities that can help all