Home Dubai News UAE: Study shows 50% women quit exercise as they grow older

UAE: Study shows 50% women quit exercise as they grow older

by Staff Reporter
ASICS study

ASICS unveils the results of their unique global study on the gender exercise gap, reaffirming the positive correlation between women’s exercise levels and their mental wellbeing, with women reporting they’re 52% happier, 50% more energised, 48% more confident, 67% less stressed and 80% less frustrated when regularly exercising.

ASICS study

The study findings also include the UAE and revealed that over 50% of women surveyed were dropping out of or stopping exercise completely, due to barriers experienced during their lifetime. Globally, these barriers included time pressures (74%), low self-confidence (35%) to intimidating environments (44%) or not feeling sporty enough (42%), all of which are negatively impacting their state of mind.

The study was led by renowned academics Dr Dee Dlugonski and Professor Brendon Stubbs, with their report also revealing a positive link between women’s exercise levels and their mental health.

The global study revealed that over 50% of women in the UAE are unhappy with their exercise levels, in terms of satisfaction and wanted to do more. What’s more, almost two-thirds (61%) of mothers surveyed around the world cited motherhood as the primary reason they dropped out of doing regular exercise or sport altogether, showing the impact that caregiving responsibilities are having on women’s activity levels.

Interestingly, men’s perceptions of the challenges women face were different to the reality with only 34% of men recognised lack of time as a barrier to exercise for women, despite three-quarters (74%) of women citing the issue.

From a regional perspective, these trends were reflected further with over 48% of women in Saudi Arabia and 47% in the UAE stating that female friends were their primary exercise influencers, underlining the power of exercising together.

In response to these findings, ASICS is recognising and amplifying the positive impact of individuals and grassroots organisations who are breaking barriers for women in sport, to support, empower and inspire more women to move, and has also selected two Middle Eastern trailblazers to be faces of their global campaign.

Dr. Jowhara Al-Qahtani, a surgeon from Qatar and Lulwah Ghalib, a Saudi-based athlete are great regional examples of women that are inspiring her peers to move more and feel the positive benefits of exercise.

ASICS study

“As the first Saudi woman to join the Athletics Masters Federation, I aspire for every woman in my country to embrace exercise and prioritise their physical and mental well-being. Running has been transformative, from dispelling negative thought patterns to realising my strength. I am driven to break stereotypes, foster inclusivity and reshape societal perceptions of women in sports within Saudi Arabia,” comments Lulwah.

ASICS wants to recognise and celebrate the incredible impact of people like Dr. Jowhara and Lulwah across communities around the world and their role in actively dismantling barriers for women in exercise and sport.

Dr. Jowhara Al-Qahtani, a surgeon from Qatar wanted to provide a judgement-free space for women of diverse backgrounds and fitness levels, so she decided to set up her own running group called Run The World. “Creating a more inclusive exercise culture requires both societal mindset shifts and individual self-awareness. As a running coach, I work to break down these barriers by fostering a supportive and judgement-free environment for women of all sizes and fitness levels.”

Ana Seixas, Head of Marketing from ASICS comments: “ASICS was founded on the belief that sport and exercise benefit the body and the mind. By launching Move Her Mind, we wish to delve deeper into understanding the factors driving the decline in exercise levels in our region and hope to give women a platform, to connect and inspire others, so everyone can achieve a sound mind in a sound body. It’s time we address barriers and promote a culture of sustainable fitness among more women and girls so that everyone can experience the positive physical and mental benefits of exercise.”

ASICS knows there are many people and organisations making a difference around the world. ASICS is inviting people across the region to submit their stories and experiences via their platform that is available in both English and Arabic, so more women can be connected, supported, and inspired.

tanvir@dubainewsweek.com

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