DURHAM, N. C. — American women are falling behind, according to Duke University. According to their research, 20% of adolescent girls self-reported participating in not one single minute of recreational physically activity per week. That compares to only 12% of boys saying the same thing.
But it gets worse. In the decade after high school, 40% of women and 30% of men report the same lack of exercise.
“Everyone needs to have exercise to improve their heart, and prevent medical problems like diabetes, heart attack and strokes … a lot of the young women are falling off the bandwagon,” says Dr. Christine Le, a Family Medicine Physician with Kelsey Seybold Clinic.
It’s scary, cause the bare minimum experts suggest is 150 minutes of exercise a week.
And experts say look to society for the cause.
“Men can meet each other at a pickup basketball and just play, women are probably less likely to join someone else at the basketball court, and also there’s different body image. A lot of women when they exercise they worry about what they’ll look like, if their makeup is going to be perfect like all these celebrities that they see on TV. And I think that hinders young women from being as active as they should be,” Dr. Le said.
Those especially susceptible to the adulthood drop-off— women of color, where only 45% were active once they reached their 20s.