According to the findings of a survey commissioned by the World Heart Federation, UK women have no interest in playing sports and one out of three has been found to do insufficient physical activity.
The study was carried out by YouGov, which polled 6,172 women from France, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and the UK to determine their sport and exercise habits. The survey participants, aged between 18 and 64, were asked about the amount of time they devote weekly to intensive and moderate physical activity.
As it turns out, 54% of UK women do not participate in competitive sports or engage in vigorous work-outs such as running or cycling. This compares to 34% for Denmark, 44% for Germany, 47% for Sweden and 52% for France. The survey results suggest that over two million UK women fall slightly short of the physical activity levels recommended for lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Also 18% of the UK sample confessed to not doing any work-outs at all.
Johanna Ralston, chief executive of the World Heart Federation, said that playing sports was an excellent complement to an active, healthy lifestyle. Combined with everyday physical activities, sport can help lower the risk of heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in women and takes the life of one in three women around the world. The World Health Organization recommends 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week for adults between the ages of 18 and 64. Activities such as gardening, dancing and fast-paced walking fall into that exercise group. The recommended amount of time for those favouring intensive work-outs is 75 minutes per week, with activities including playing sport, running or doing aerobics, Ralston said.