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Physically Active? Of Course Not, You're A Girl

Illustration for article titled Physically Active? Of Course Not, Youre A Girl

"Even at the age of 10, girls are more likely to stand around gossiping than playing games or sports like their male classmates," new research claims.

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According to two studies being presented today at the UK Society for Behavioural Medicine, whether people are 10 years old or 70 years old, males are more physically active than females. Dr Nicky Ridgers, one of the co-authors of the research, says: "It is a concern that girls' activity levels are lower than boys and, although it is just one piece in a complex picture, this could be contributing to girls being overweight and obese.

Obviously, there are exceptions. Female athletes and boys who prefer to gossip. But some women find working out in a gym to be such a boring, lone-wolf activity, which makes sense if females have the inclination to "play" by interacting verbally in small groups.

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Everyone knows that physical activity is healthy: When you're young, it helps build strong bones and joints; when you're older, mobility and flexibility are important. But knowing that females play differently, even at a young age, how do we get girls — and women — to be more active? Instead of shaming "chatty" girls, is there a way to harness strong social tendencies into physical exertion?

Girls Play Less Energetically Than Boys 'Because They Prefer To Chat' [Telegraph]
Studies Reveal Lifelong Gender Difference In Physical Activity [EurekAlert]
Females 'Less Physically Active' [BBC News]
Lifelong Gender Difference In Physical Activity Revealed [Science Daily]

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DISCUSSION

I hate the gym but not because it's boring - I hate it because invariably I'm the only female under forty in there and am seen as "fair game" for all the guys pretending to lift weights.

That's why I bought my own treadmill :)