Girls in sport: startling statistics

Girls in sport: startling statistics

If you have a daughter, there’s good reason to be concerned about her future in sport and physical activity. The statistics are bleak and there might be worrisome consequences for your daughter’s health.

Girls move a lot less than boys

Research shows that only 4 percent of Canadian girls are getting enough daily physical activity to meet recommended health guidelines. Meanwhile, 9 percent of boys, more than twice as many, are getting enough activity.

Another survey showed that only 70 percent of girls regularly participate in sports in a year. For boys that number is 81 percent.

Follow the money…

Here’s an interesting fact. Statistics Canada says that sport participation rates for girls and boys get closer as household income rises. Basically, girls from low-income families are much less likely to be active than boys from low-income households.

Sport and activity reduce cancer risk for girls

All of this highlights a critical health issue. One review of data for females aged 12 to 24 suggests that their cancer risk is reduced by as much as 20 percent if they are physically active. Each regular weekly hour of physical activity during their teen years is associated with a 3 percent reduction in risk for breast cancer.

What to do?

It’s not all doom and gloom. There are ways we can help girls get involved and stay active. Check out these suggestions on how to support and encourage girls in sports and physical activity.

Beyond smoking and nutrition, physical activity is one of the few health factors that we can influence.

As parents, we can help our daughters to get the right start in physical activity so they never stop.

…cancer risk is reduced by as much as 20 percent if [girls] are physically active…

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