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Girls’ Participation in Physical Activities and Sports: Benefits, Patterns, Influences and Ways Forward

Report that focuses on a review of literature and research that describes the benefits and barriers to participation in physical activity, along with examples of innovative practice and recommendations.

Bailey, R.; Wellard, I. & Dismore, H.  Centre for Physical Education and Sport Research, Canterbury Christ Church University College, U.K. for the World Health Organisation (WHO).  (2005).

The report begins with a summary of the numerous benefits of physical activity, such as improving mental health and increased social inclusion.  Patterns of girls’ participation in physical activity are then described by reviewing a number of research studies, summarised in an easy-to-read table. 

In general, this research (taken from many different countries in the world) suggests that females are much less likely to be physically active than their male counterparts.  Numerous influences on girls’ participation in physical activity are then summarised, divided between personal and environmental factors. 

Web-site links are then provided to innovative practices throughout the world.  An excellent bibliography, list for further reading and links to useful organisations is also included. 

Recommendations:  A number of recommendations are highlighted in the report.  The key to increasing adolescent females participation is to ‘develop forms of physical activity that are sensitive to girls’ needs and interests’, such as adopting practices that emphasise fun and establishing physical activity as a natural behaviour at an early age.  The promotion of women in key roles in sport (e.g. coaches) and increased research in order to assist in the creation of effective interventions are also suggested.  

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12/1/2005

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Source

Centre for Physical Education and Sport Research, Canterbury Christ Church University College, U.K. for the World Health Organisation (WHO)

Further Contact Details

Richard Bailey, Canterbury Christ Church University College, U.K. E-mail: rpb1@conterbury.ac.uk

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