Over the past 10 years Debitsuccess has been providing expert billing services to businesses across Australia. Debitsuccess is now the largest full service direct debit provider in Australasia,…read more
VicHealth report says women are ‘shamed’ into quitting fitness activities
Coinciding with today’s commencement of VicHealth’s inaugural This Girl Can Week, the health promotion agency has released a report highlighting barriers that women encounter when looking to participate in exercise.
Commencing from today (Monday 18th March) and running until 24th March, This Girl Can Week is encouraging Victorian women to give physical activity a go or return to exercise after a break.
The Week sees a range of fun, free or low-cost activities hosted by gyms and sports clubs across Victoria, tailored to women and girls who want to get active but aren’t sure about how to take the first step.
It aims to build on the momentum created by the highly successful campaign which launched in March last year and inspired one in seven Victorian women to get moving in 2018.
A VicHealth statement advises “the campaign features everyday Victorian women instead of professional athletes or airbrushed Instagram models and is about empowering women to feel comfortable in their bodies and in public spaces - regardless of their ability, how they look or how sweaty they get.”
While This Girl Can Week is promoting positive messages about women’s physical activity, VicHealth’s latest research reveals the devastating impact women’s experiences of judgement while exercising has on their capacity to begin or maintain physical activity.
A diverse group of women aged between the ages of 18-65 shared distressing stories of being shamed for being too ‘fat’ or ‘ugly’ to be physically active. Half of the women surveyed said they had actually experienced being heckled and judged.
As a result, many worried about the way they looked when exercising, including being sweaty, breathless, red-faced or having their bodies ‘jiggle’. Others told of their guilt at prioritising their own needs after having children with some being told they were bad mothers for using childcare so they could exercise and that playing sport and being active was a “given” for men but not women. Other research findings included:
• Women believed men judged them in a sexualised way, whereas women were critical about their clothing, capability and body appearance.
• Groups and small cliques in small exercises classes were very disconcerting and overhearing gossip also made women feel judged and unwelcome.
• How women are represented in social media, advertising and the media also contributed to fears about not being good enough.
• Judgement from family members was also particularly devastating, with some women stopping exercise after disparaging remarks from their husbands and children.
For many, the experiences of judgement were so negative, and fears so overwhelming, that women withdrew from exercise altogether, or did not start in the first place.
One woman told of her experience after being abused by a group of men while out walking.
“They rolled their window down and said to me ‘oh, do you work in a bakery?’ and I’m like ‘oh, no’, and they said ‘oh, well, you’ve certainly got enough rolls’... I didn’t walk in town again.”
Commenting on the research, VicHealth Social Marketing Manager Melanie Fineberg advised “women say they’re being shamed for being too fat or ugly when getting physically active. They’re told they’re bad mothers if they prioritise their own health.
“Women are telling us it’s not only men yelling out at them when they’re exercising in public, but their own husbands and children are making comments about how silly they look.
“Women are also judging women with comments about their appearance and clothes.”
Fineberg said the research showed that there was a lot more work to do to empower women to get fit and healthy, adding “one in five women are doing no physical activity in a week. They’re not only missing out on benefits for their physical health, but also mental health and social connections.
“We all have a role to play in creating a society where we are supportive of people getting active regardless of where they are from, what they look like or how old they are.”
14th March 2019 - Nielsen analysts suggest new ways to ‘value’ the rise of women’s sport
20th February 2019 - Jerril Rechter named as new Chief Executive of Basketball Australia
7th November 2018 - VicHealth initiates new sports programs to get Victorians active
4th September 2018 - Victorian health campaign sees positive results with more women getting active
19th August 2018 - VicHealth looks to enhance This Girl Can campaign in regional Victoria
22nd April 2018 - VicHealth campaign looks to overcome barriers to women’s activity
4th April 2018 - Sport England’s This Girl Can campaign makes Australian debut
Asking a small favour
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.
Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.
Click here to subscribe.
The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.
Fun Wheels Pty Ltd are the premium dealer in Australasia for the Dutch company BERG’s commercial and domestic products. Our flagship product is their revolutionary pedal go-kart – the…read more
About Priava's Technology - Priava is a cloud-based and centralised venue and event management system aimed at venues of all sizes. With its familiar and easy-to-use web interface, the…read more
ICP is an Australian-based company focused on indoor climbing. ICP will manage your project from initial design to completion and beyond, whether you're building an international-level climbing…read more
Playrope Aqua-Fun, are the Australian & New Zealand exclusive distributors for Vortex Aquatic Structures International, the world leader in aquatic playgrounds and urban water landscapes.…read more
Developed in Europe, this innovative system offers a safety management solution for swimming pools that checks individual swimmers via their wristband - monitoring their depth and time. Sensors…read more
As of the 1st July 2018, Enta Australasia Pty Ltd/Best Union has been rebranded as VIVATICKET Pty Ltd. Click here to view the VIVATICKET Pty Ltd listing. 19th July 2018 - ENTA…read more
JonasLeisure offers a complete range of leading leisure and recreation software brands – envibe, Centaman, Gladstone Health & Leisure, The Retention People, Nutrition Complete and…read more
get listed with our suppliers directory
Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!