Girls, Young Women, and Physical Activity

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The benefits of physical activity are well documented and improve all aspects of health and overall wellbeing. Globally, on average, 37.1% of women are insufficiently physically active while only 23.4% of men are—a 13.7% gap. This trend is also found in my own home state of Utah, where 19.4% of women are insufficiently physically active while only 17.6% of men are (better than many other states, but nonetheless a problem). While women often live longer than men, they are frequently in worse health. Physical inactivity contributes to the development and severity of chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and hypertension. In addition to affecting physical health, physical inactivity is also associated with poor mental health. Physical activity can contribute to positive self-image and improved confidence, which is critical for meaningful community participation as well as developing interpersonal relationships.

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