Playground News - Girls are Less Active Than Boys

Filed under: Opinions

girl on swingVisiting my daughter's kindergarten class at recess, it's hard to tell exactly who is playing with who. Boys and girls are everywhere, climbing, crawling, and chasing. But according a recent study, by age 10, boys are more likely to be the ones exercising at recess, while girls are more likely to break off into smaller groups and socialize instead.

It's a trend that follows kids into adult life too. A second study found that even into their 70s, men are considerably more active than women. In our own home, I tend to be guilty of putting off exercise for other obligations, while my husband bikes to work every single day.

While there are exceptions to every rule, I suspect this study isn't too far off base. The question now is, what do we do about it? By my freshman year in high school, I hated P.E., yet a friend and I went jogging every day after school. Maybe it's not that girls don't like to exercise, but that we need to reconsider what kind of exercise is offered to them. I would much rather have learned lifelong healthy habits in gym class, rather than be humiliated every time I had to serve a volleyball.

Hopefully, this study gives teachers and parents some food for thought. Do you notice a difference between how boys and girls play when they reach the tween years?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.