Painful periods, issues with confidence and self-consciousness, the pressure of academic school work and lack of encouragement from teachers and parents, all hold teenage girls back from being physically active.
The survey data shows:
· Secondary school aged boys (11-16) are happier with the amount of physical activity they take part in and enjoy it more than girls (71% of boys compared to 56% of girls).
· Pressure of school work and low confidence are much bigger barriers to taking part in physical activity for girls than boys (24% of girls compared to 13% of boys).
· Satisfaction with body image for girls declines with age. One in four are unhappy with their body image at 11-13 years and this figure increases to one in three by the time they reach 14-16 years.
· Girls do not see the relevance of the skills they learn in PE to their lives (45% of girls compared to 60% of boys).
The Youth Sport Trust and Women in Sport carried out this survey to better understand girls’ attitudes towards PE and physical activity and the challenges they face in getting active. These insights have been used to improve the sports offering for girls in schools across the UK.