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German women are more physically active than their European counterparts yet remain indifferent to sport

This press release is available in German.

Geneva, Switzerland (07 March, 2013) A new survey reveals that 44 per cent of German women did not play competitive sport or spend any time on intensive workouts such as running or cycling, in a given week. German women remain reluctant to devote any time to competitive sport, despite being more physically active than their European counterparts in Britain, Denmark, Sweden and France, according to a new multi-national survey on sport and exercise habits. With Germany favourites to be crowned champions at this summer's UEFA Women's EURO in Sweden, the countdown to the championships offers an opportunity for women to kick start heart-healthy physical activities and set themselves the goal of doing more sport.

"Playing sport can be an important part of an active, healthy lifestyle. In combination with everyday physical activities, such as gardening or even doing household chores, sport can help reduce the risk of heart disease, the number one killer of women, responsible for the deaths of 1 in 3 women worldwide. According to the World Health Organization's Global Recommendations on Physical activity for Health, adults aged between 18-64 years should do 150 minutes of moderate physical activity (gardening, dancing or brisk walking) or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity (playing sport, running or aerobics) per week. Ahead of International Women's Day, we encourage women to take care of their heart health to avoid paying the penalty of an inactive lifestyle", said Johanna Ralston, CEO of the World Heart Federation.

Although German women are more physically active than their European counterparts, the survey reveals that around 1 in 5 German women did not do enough physical activity, putting themselves at risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), which includes heart disease and stroke. More than 1.75 million women in Germany are just below the threshold for a healthy level of physical activity. They could reduce their risk of CVD if they set themselves the goal of doing just one hour more per week of playing sport or doing everyday physical activities such as gardening or household chores.

The multi-national survey conducted by YouGov in France, Sweden, UK, Denmark and Sweden, and commissioned by the World Heart Federation reveals that in the Germany:

  • 44 per cent of Women in Germany did not play competitive sport or do any vigorous physical activity in the week of the survey, compared to 34 per cent in Denmark, 47 per cent in Sweden, 52 per cent of women in France and 54 per cent in the UK
  • 19 per cent of women in Germany did not do the recommended amount of physical activity in the week of the survey
  • 11 per cent of women admitted to being physically inactive and did not exert themselves at all

The World Heart Federation's "Make a Healthy Heart your Goal" campaign in partnership with UEFA Women's EURO 2013 will be officially launched tomorrow on International Women's Day. The campaign encourages women and girls to set themselves the 'goal' of becoming more physically active, by practising sports such as football and incorporating physical activities into their everyday lives, to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.

"Ahead of the UEFA Women's EURO 2013 in July, we are calling on women and girls across Europe to achieve their physical activity 'goal' by playing football. Football is an empowering and unifying experience for women and girls. UEFA believes that every girl should have the opportunity to play football locally regardless of skill or talent and it is our goal to support this aim through our partnership with the World Heart Federation," said Karen Espelund, Member of the UEFA Executive Committee and Chairwoman of the UEFA Women's Football Committee.


Contact: Charanjit Jagait
World Heart Federation

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