I see people jogging and walking in my neighbourhood all the time. And, having lived in this area for nearly five years, I have definitely seen a trend emerge. the vast majority of these active people are women. I thought that was weird so I started paying more attention.
Yes, it definitely does appear that more women than men were out being active, at least in my part of town.
I thought about it more and more. I know that there are activities going on in town that women are participating in, such as zumba. I haven’t heard of too many men participating in these types of things.
I hear that there is a men’s hockey team, so they get some points for that... but there’s also a women’s hockey team.
My mixed slo-pitch team does have more men than women on it, but it would be a bit of a stretch to think that the guys are getting a significant amount of exercise there.
According to Stats Canada, adults should accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity a week. New data from the Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS), states that just 15% of Canadian adults attain this level of activity.
The guidelines also suggest that young people aged five to 17 should accumulate at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity daily. CHMS data indicated that only 7% of young people attain this level of activity.
By gender, the guidelines for adults were achieved by 17% of men and 14% of women. The guidelines for young people were achieved by 9% of boys and 4% of girls.
These statistics just don’t jibe with what I am observing and they are also kind of sad – especially for our kids!
All this pondering about activity levels and gender got me wondering about a lot of things.
What motivates people to be active?
Are men more active on the job and therefore not as eager to spend their leisure time in pursuit of physical activity? Most of the men (and women) I know in my area work in office jobs — so that doesn’t seem to be the answer.
Are the women in my neighbourhood more concerned about their appearance and weight gain than the men are? Are men just more satisfied with the way they look and feel? Is there more social pressure for women to get fit and look good? Are the men being active in ways that are not as easily observable – such as working out in home gyms?
Gender aside, the CMMS statistics are depressing. Very few of us are getting enough exercise in our lives. Do we need to do something as a society to turn this around?
I would love to hear your ideas about this apparent phenomenon.
Do you think my observation that woman are more active than men is accurate?
Does this seem to be the case where you live? Should government more actively promote activity?
What strategies do you use to help you stay more active?
Email your feedback to me at the address below.
Camille Meub is a community correspondent for La Salle. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.