Sun, Feb 01, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Sports body reports rise in number of women exercising

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

There has been a steady increase in the number of women exercising regularly, with the growth in some of the indicators surpassing those for men, statistics from the Sports Administration showed

The administration said it defines regular exercise as working out at least three times per week with each session lasting at least 30 minutes and being intense enough to cause the person to puff and sweat.

Chang Wen-zong (張文宗), a specialist with the administration’s Sports for All division, said that a survey last year showed that about 28 percent of the women said they exercise regularly, marking a 1.2 percent increase from 2013; while 37.7 percent of men exercise regularly, compared with 35.6 percent in 2013.

However, 80.6 percent of the female respondents said they had worked out within a month before the survey, an increase of 1.1 percent compared with 2012, but when the same question was posed to men, 84.2 percent of them responded positively, compared with 84.7 percent in 2012.

The survey also showed that women on average work out 3.86 times per week, up 0.49 percent from 2012. Men worked out 3.76 times per week, a 0.38 percent rise.

In addition, the survey showed that women spent an average of 59.64 minutes exercising, up from 56.7 minutes in 2012.

Men, on the other hand, spent an average of 78.04 minutes working out, as opposed to 75.7 minutes in 2012.

Meanwhile, 59 percent of female respondents said they had heard about the government’s plans to increase the number of people who exercise regularly, a 20.9 percent growth compared with 2012. Only 54.7 percent of men said they knew about the plans, up from 36.3 percent in 2012.

Chang attributed the boost in the number of women exercising regularly to an increase in women only sports events.

“Events like the Nike Women’s Race and the Bikini Run in Taitung have promoted running as healthy and fun,” Chang said. “Many women used to be averse to exercising because it causes their bodies to sweat and smell, and it makes them feel tired. However, working out is now a fashionable thing to do with your friends.”

Meanwhile, the administration earlier this week unveiled its “Run for Fun” plan for students across the nation, with different goals set for different age groups.

Elementary-school pupils are encouraged to log 1,000km of running in total before they graduate, according to the plan, while junior-high school students are encouraged to run a total of 2,424km before they graduate. The goals set for senior-high school and university students are 3,864km and 5,784km respectively before they graduate.

The administration said it plans to start a trial operation of the project in several schools next semester, allowing students to track the distances they run on an online platform.

The administration said it has set recommended daily running distances for students of different levels to encourage participation.

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