French women are less likely to spend any time on any physical activities - not sports, exercise or even household chores, compared to women in Germany, Denmark, Sweden and the UK, according to a new survey.
The multi-national survey on sport and exercise habits also reveals that more than 50 percent of French women did not play competitive sport or spend any time on intensive workouts such as running or cycling in a given week. As the French women's football team prepare for this summer's UEFA Women's EURO in Sweden (that's soccer to you Yanks), the countdown to the championships offers an opportunity for women to kick start heart-healthy physical activities and set themselves the goal of being more active.
"Playing sport can be an important part of an active, healthy lifestyle. In combination with everyday physical activities, such as gardening or even doing household chores, sport can help reduce the risk of heart disease, the number one killer of women, responsible for the deaths of 1 in 3 women worldwide. According to the World Health Organization's Global Recommendations on Physical activity for Health, adults aged between 18-64 years should do 150 minutes of moderate physical activity (gardening, dancing or brisk walking) or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity (playing sport, running or aerobics) per week. Ahead of International Women's Day, we encourage women to take care of their heart health to avoid paying the penalty of an inactive lifestyle,", says Johanna Ralston, CEO of the World Heart Federation.
The survey reveals that French women are not only indifferent to sport and exercise, but 42 percent of women do not do enough physical activity per week, putting themselves at risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) like stroke.
More than 2 million women in France are below the threshold for a healthy level of physical activity. They could reduce their risk of
cardiovascular disease if they set themselves the goal of doing just one hour more per week of playing sport or doing everyday physical activities such as gardening or household chores.
The multi-national survey conducted by YouGov in France, Sweden, UK, Denmark and Sweden, and commissioned by the World Heart Federation reveals that in France:
- 42 percent of women in France did not do the recommended amount of physical activity in the week of the survey, compared to 34 percent in the UK, 33 per cent in Sweden, 19 percent in Denmark and 19 percent in Germany.
- 22 percent of women admitted to being physically inactive and did not exert themselves at all.
- French men were more likely to do the recommended amount of physical activity in the week of the survey, with 75 percent of French men doing at least 150 minutes of physical activity, compared to just 58 percent of French women.
"Ahead of the UEFA Women's EURO 2013 in July, we are calling on women and girls across Europe to achieve their physical activity 'goal' by playing football. Football is an empowering and unifying experience for women and girls. UEFA believes that every girl should have the opportunity to play football locally regardless of skill or talent and it is our goal to support this aim through our partnership with the World Heart Federation," said Karen Espelund, Member of the UEFA Executive Committee and Chairwoman of the UEFA Women's Football Committee.