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Research shows Melbourne women missing out on exercise
Women are missing out on exercise opportunities but are more inclined to want to exercise than men, according to a new survey conducted by VicHealth and Griffith University.
The survey, of 1,413 Melbourne adults reveals differences between the way men and women exercise. It also shows women are getting less exercise in general.
When it came to the type of exercises the genders prefer, women were more likely than men to take part in yoga (7% against 3%) and slightly more likely to go swimming (16% against 14%) while men were significantly more likely than women to take part in cycling (19% against 11%) and golf (12% against 2%).
Overall, women's participation was found to be consistently lower in all age groups after the age of 29.
Overall, men were more likely to say they had been physically active in the previous week at 94%, compared to 92% of women overall, when you include walking. When you exclude walking, 65% of women exercised, compared with 69% of men.
However, the survey shows 34% of women intend to start a new physical activity compared to only 18% of men, with a tendency towards increasing walking, aerobics and yoga.
VicHealth Chief Executive Jerril Rechter said women often face more barriers to physical activity, particularly women over 30, mothers and those from non-English speaking backgrounds. Common reasons include difficulty finding the time, a lack of appropriate facilities for women and caring for children.
Rechter explained "women are finding it increasingly difficult to get involved in exercise at set times of the day or week.
"Modern lifestyles have resulted in many women having to choose between work or family commitments and physical activity. There is little doubt that our increasingly busy and cluttered lifestyles are a factor, which is why we need to rethink how we get our 30-minutes of exercise into our days."
The survey was conducted as part of VicHealth's free TeamUp phone app, which was launched in April. The app has since had more than 7800 downloads. It acts as a free community noticeboard where people can list or browse hundreds of activities, from yoga to soccer to roller derby, in their local area, and join in with no commitment.
Rechter added "TeamUp is specifically designed to clear the hurdles many people, not just women, face when it comes to fitness.
"It's a fun way to get active that caters for all ability levels and best of all, it offers the opportunity to form new social networks and make new friends, which is really important for health as well.
"The way we see it, exercising shouldn't be a chore it should be the highlight of your day. It's simply about finding what works for you."
Results from the survey have been released to coincide with Jean Hailes Women's Health Week.
For more information go to www.womenshealthweek.com.au
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