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PE should be made more attractive to girls

2nd May 2012

Schools are being encouraged to find ways of making exercise more popular with their female students after research found many of them are choosing not to participate.

Teenager1

The results of a study by the Women's Sport and Fitness Foundation (WSFF) found that over 50% of girls did not want to do PE classes. 

The WSFF's research was carried out by Loughborough University and discovered significant variations in the opinions of male and female students to exercise.

These variations increased with age, as eight-year-old pupils took around the same amount of exercise and 60% of boys and girls reported doing at least an hour of exercise, five times a week.

However by the age of 14 less than a third of girls (30%) said they regularly exercised, compared to half of boys of the same age.

The study found that although girls wanted to do more exercise, they did not enjoy PE classes.

Some girls reported that they did not want to exercise in front of male pupils or were not confident about their sporting abilities.

WSFF said some school PE lessons were "stuck in the 1950s jolly-hockey-sticks style of the past".

"It's simply unacceptable that the overwhelming majority of our young women are leaving school with dangerously low levels of physical activity," said WSFF chief executive Sue Tibbals.

"We can't afford to keep ignoring the evidence that school sport plays a key role in shaping attitudes to sports and fitness." 

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