At This Girl Can Classes, we’re all about women. We’re all about giving more women the opportunity to be active every week, helping them to build their confidence and feel happier and healthier. We encourage women to stop seeing boundaries and start seeing opportunities. We’re so proud of what we’ve achieved so far, but we know we’ve got a long way to go. So far, the This Girl Can campaign has inspired 2.9 million women to get active, but we’re not done yet – there are still barriers to break and many more fun times to be had. 13 million women say they would like to participate more in sport and physical activity*. That’s more than the entire population of Los Angeles – crazy right? But why do women feel like they can’t get more involved in sport and physical activity? And most importantly, what are we doing about it?
4 in 10 women are not active enough to ensure they get the full health benefits.
Although it’s true that the gender gap between numbers of men and women who are physically active is continuing to decrease, inequalities still exist.
According to Sport England research, there are various practical and personal barriers that women face when participating in physical exercise. Head here to learn more.
Here are a few practical and personal barriers to exercise that we know all too well…
Women may have less spare time than men to spend on their hobbies and interests. Traditionally women have more responsibility within the household and so tend to feel guilty when any spare time they have isn’t used looking after family. A survey by Sport England shows that 61% of mums would feel guilty about taking time to exercise**. So, even a quick in and out workout isn’t always realistic.
Women *still* earn less than men. Low-income households also may not be able to afford gym memberships, sports clothing, or equipment.
Women feeling unsafe in the streets is nothing new. Travelling to and from venues or even going for a walk in the dark can be quite intimidating, but now they have to consider harassment in indoor, public spaces. A big shout out to the brave women on TikTok calling out this behaviour. Click here to find out more.
Research shows that women are more self-conscious than men when taking part in physical activity. This can stop women from getting active and in turn, cause them to lose even more motivation.
This is linked to body image but can also affect how women judge their own physical abilities, causing them avoid activities such as team sports or group exercise.
The male-dominated culture of sport
Sports culture is traditionally male-focused, meaning women can be often left out of the conversation. This can push women away from the world of sport and physical activity.
Attitudes and prejudices
Competing in sports and taking part in typically male-dominated activities can be seen as unfeminine, which can become a barrier to women taking part.
Some sports and exercises can be inaccessible to those with disabilities. This can be experienced in various ways, including lack of representation and classes that are not adapted to a range of abilities.
Rates of participation across different ethnic groups can also vary. Stereotypes that certain ethnic groups face can add unnecessary pressure, or even be discouraging.
Break down barriers, smash stereotypes and tackle taboos.
These are just a few of the walls we’re here to smash through. Together, we’re bringing the This Girl Can Classes vision to glorious, sweaty, active life. A community of diverse women from all backgrounds getting active together in a safe space, giving judgement the finger and enjoying exercise. We’re committed to smashing obstacles that get in the way of women getting into group exercise. We offer them a very warm welcome to the world of workout programmes for women, with the aim of being pivotal in a long and happy life of moving however and whenever they like.
If you’re keen to get active, celebrate women and challenge backwards ideas of what women are capable of, you’re in the right place. Well, almost – click here to book a class near you and show up exactly as you are!