Recent research has indicated women are doing much less exercise than men each week – it’s called the “gender exercise gap”, and it’s been highlighted in the ASICS State of Mind Index, a research project that also points out women are potentially missing out on the positive mental and physical benefits that come with doing more exercise.
The index shows that globally, women exercise, on average, for 140 minutes per week, which is 40 minutes less than men, who generally exercise for 180 minutes. In Australia, this gap between men and women jumps to 60 minutes.
In Australia, there was a disparity of 9 points between men (66/100) and women’s (57/100) State of Mind. Alarmingly, this gap was the 2nd largest disparity between genders out of the 16 countries that were surveyed. The United States was the only nation to have a larger gap.
Indeed, research from The Australian National University (ANU) in 2022 showed that for those in heterosexual relationships, men tend to “borrow” free time to exercise from their female partners, who get less opportunity to focus on their health, with their time being squeezed to manage their jobs and family.
The researchers found that women’s physical activity dropped when their paid or family work hours increased, or if their paid work was less flexible.