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Girls in Sports at Record High, Yet Many Girls Fail to Meet Minimal Standards of Physical Activity, University of Minnesota Report Says
Date:4/14/2008

Girls need regular physical activity to reduce risks of obesity, diabetes

and heart disease

MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL, April 14 /PRNewswire/ -- A report released today by the University of Minnesota's Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport shows that girls are participating in sports in record numbers, but their participation in physical activity outside of organized sports is declining, especially as they move from childhood into adolescence.

The report, Developing Physically Active Girls: An Evidence-based Multidisciplinary Approach, summarizes the most recent research pertaining to the physical, psychological, social and cultural benefits girls derive from participation in sport and physical activity, the barriers that prevent them from reaching their full potential and the kinds of environments in which girls learn how to develop and foster the best parts of themselves both on and off the playing fields.

"The research within the report confirms that many good things are happening when it comes to girls and physical activity. Girls are participating in organized sports more than ever and at all levels -- from organized youth sports, to interscholastic sports and up through Olympic competition," said Nicole LaVoi, researcher and associate director of the Tucker Center and a report author.

The report outlines the benefits girls' reap from physical activity such as:
-- Regular physical activity can improve health and reduce girls' risk of

obesity and chronic diseases such as Type II diabetes, osteoporosis and

cardiovascular disease.

-- Girls' participation in physical activity can result in positive youth

development, including social, psychological and motor skill benefits.

-- Athletic girls perform better academically and have lower dropout rates

than do their non-athletic counterparts.

-- Girls participate not only for competiti
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SOURCE University of Minnesota
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