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VicHealth campaign looks to overcome barriers to women’s activity

VicHealth campaign looks to overcome barriers to women’s activity
April 22, 2018

VicHealth’s new female focused activity, This Girl Can, is aiming to empower women to get active and overcome feelings of judgement which research shows is stopping them from exercising.

The VicHealth research reveals over half of Victorian women worry about being judged when exercising - worrying more than men about keeping up and being unfit – and, as a result, finding it harder to go back to exercise when they haven't done it for a while.

The research shows:

• Three in five (60%) of Australian women are not sufficiently active
• One in five Victorian women don’t do any physical activity in a typical week

The survey of 2,000 Victorian women and men aged 18 or over found that:

• When exercising, 52% of women worry about being judged
• Men are more likely than women to feel comfortable in themselves exercising, and more likely to agree that they don’t worry about what other people think about them when exercising
• Women are more than twice as likely as men to worry about being unfit, not being able to keep up or being a beginner
• 62% of women find it harder than 52% of men to return to exercise after a break
• 31% of women felt judged for having to stop or slow down during exercise compared with 26% of men
• One in four women is worried about changing in front of others when they exercise or play sport
• 41% of women were too embarrassed to exercise in public, compared with 26% of men
• 46% of women found gyms and fitness centres intimidating compared with 42% of men
• 30% of women were uncomfortable in exercise clothing
• Women are more likely to feel that exercise is a better option for them than sport

Overall:

• Three in five (60%) of Australian women are not sufficiently active
• One in five Victorian women don’t do any physical activity in a typical week

Based on the successful UK This Girl Can viral campaign, and licenced by VicHealth from Sport England, advertisements for This Girl Can - Victoria have been broadcast since late March.

VicHealth is investing $3 million a year in the campaign after two years of discussions to licence the rights from Sport England.

Commenting on the program, Victorian Minister for Women Natalie Hutchins advised “This Girl Can-Victoria is all about empowering women to smash outdated stereotypes about what they can or can’t do in the gym, on the sporting field and in our neighbourhoods.”

VicHealth Chief Executive Jerril Rechter (pictured below) advises “we know they are real barriers women face, so celebrating real women with real bodies doing their thing and not worrying about what people think is great.”

Writing in Melbourne newspaper the Sun-Herald as the advertising campaign launched, Rechter explained:

In today’s era of #MeToo and women speaking up and taking a stand, you’d think we’d feel free to get physically active whenever we choose. Women are now playing Aussie rules and we’re making major inroads into traditionally male-dominated sports, but it seems something is stopping us from getting active.

For more than 40% of us, this feeling of embarrassment or intimidation is so strong it actually stops us from taking part in sport or exercise.

That’s certainly what VicHealth found when we put the call out last year for Victorian women to tell us about their experiences of getting active.

Over and over again we heard stories of women who were embarrassed, intimidated, shamed. Women who were told they should be at home with their kids, they should lose weight, they shouldn’t wear Lycra.

The powerful TV campaign stars 12 local women - no airbrushed Instagram models - overcoming their fears and giving it a go, curves, jiggles, wrinkles and all. The women, from across Victoria, get their sweat on in a range of activities from boxing, cycling and roller-derby to netball and Aussie rules.

In the TV ad we see netballer Sally shooting goals in a game despite being told she’s “too old to play”, Tina on the bike even after someone’s heckled her “fat chicks shouldn’t wear Lycra” and Jaime’s still playing soccer (football) despite her “Mum belly”. The women in our TV ad are everyday women who’ve found the confidence to get out there and get active.

Women who try, and fail, and laugh and love it anyway. Women who say “I can do this.”

This Girl Can - Victoria is about smashing those old-fashioned stereotypes and the fear stopping women from getting out there and giving it a go.

This Girl Can - Victoria isn’t about making women feel bad about not doing enough exercise. It’s about celebrating what they can do - even if it’s just a walk around the block or a few laps of the pool.

One thing’s for sure, in Victoria we know This Girl most definitely Can.

The three-year VicHealth campaign aiming to increase physical activity among Victorian women. It focuses on less active women, and supports gender equality by challenging traditional gender roles and stereotypes in sport and by celebrating women in this space.

VicHealth is the first organisation in the world to license the This Girl Can campaign from Sport England.

Victorian women are encouraged to join the This Girl Can movement by heading to thisgirlcan.com.au and join the community on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and follow the #ThisGirlCanVic.

The website features a range of ways women inspired by the ad can get active including a list of active tips giving practical suggestions from the women featured in This Girl Can-Victoria about how they motivate themselves to get active. Be inspired to try a new activity, grab a friend to be active with and check out the different ways to get moving on the website. 

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20th July 2017 - NEW PLAN TO GET VICTORIANS MORE ACTIVE

3rd April 2017 - YMCA BACKS ‘GIRLS MAKE YOUR MOVE’ CAMPAIGN WITH FREE GYM ACCESS

8th March 2017 - EDUCATION BODIES CALL FOR PHYSICAL EDUCATION NEEDS TO BE AT THE FOREFRONT OF EVERY CHILD’S SCHOOLING 

23rd Febraury 2017 - AWRA TO TRADE AS WOMEN SPORT AUSTRALIA

20th February 2017 - FEDERAL GOVERNMENT REVIVES GIRLS MAKE YOUR MOVE ACTIVITY CAMPAIGN

28th January 2017 - NEW SPORT MINISTER BACKS WOMEN’S SPORT AND ACTIVITY 

8th December 2016 - LANDMARK STUDY FINDS SPORT STRUGGLING TO KEEP YOUTH ENGAGED 

24th September 2016 - GENDER BALANCE IN SPORT VITAL TO IMPROVING PUBLIC HEALTH

9th September 2016 - GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCES A NATIONAL DIGITAL GATEWAY FOR WOMEN’S HEALTH 

15th December 2016 - FERNWOOD FITNESS SURPASSES FUNDRAISING GOAL WITH $128,291 DONATED TO BCNA 

23rd June 2015 - ONE IN FOUR FITNESS CLUB MEMBERS WOULD PAY MORE FOR SINGLE-SEX GYMS


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We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

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