According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 60 per cent of Australian women aged 18 and over don’t meet recommendations provided in physical activity guidelines.
This research also indicates that as women get older, they are much less likely to be sufficiently physically active. Around 1 in 2 Australian women aged 18-24 are considered sufficiently physically active, compared to just 1 in 4 women aged 65 and over.
When we are young, sport and physical activity often forms a foundational aspect of our lives. It’s how socialise with friends, fill in leisure time after school and keep fit. With age comes more responsibility, so it’s no surprise that women’s participation in sport often falls off the radar with age, as does other forms of physical activity.
It’s why former Bachelorette and journalist Georgia Love is fronting a new campaign called #RiseUp and Reconnect, alongside AFLW stars Chloe Molloy, Darcy Vescio and Monique Conti, to help encourage women to re-engage with the sport or physical activity they enjoyed in their youth.
“You can get into a habit especially I think as you get older of getting really trapped in work and feeling too busy but if you put your health first and live that active, healthy lifestyle, everything else flows. You sleep better, you’re happier, you work better,” Love said.
“There is no one without the other for me.”
Love was an avid dancer as a child and throughout university, and has recently reconnected with her childhood dance teacher, who has helped spark her passion for dance once again.
“We have that joy and that fun that we used to have as children and when we were younger still within us. Just because we’ve grown up doesn’t mean we can’t still feel those same feelings,” Love said.
“Reconnecting with something that made you feel that as a young person can bring that into our adult life. Things get in the way, life gets in the way, but it doesn’t mean we can’t rise up and reconnect with the things that brought us joy when we were younger.”
Meanwhile, AFLW stars Chloe Molloy, Darcy Vescio and Monique Conti want to encourage women to join team sport no matter their age – both as a way to stay fit and to expand their social and support network.
“Through sport, I’ve been incredibly lucky to be surrounded by like-minded people who I get to have fun and be fit with, while building confidence and gaining important life skills,” Molloy said.
Vescio said sport has been crucial to many of the best opportunities she’s been given in life, and would encourage women to think about the broader benefits of participation in sport.
“It is sad to see the drop out rates of women in sport. Growing up it is something that is so integrated in life and it’s something that you do because everyone’s doing it,” Vescio said.
“When life gets busy it can drop away but I think you do lose a lot of the joy that sport brings and being able to be part of a social groups whether you play really competitively or just with friends.”