Health

Benefits of Sport: The Universal Truths

This much we know is true: sport is one of the most important socio-cultural learning experiences for girls. Aside from the known health benefits yielded by regular participation in sports and physical fitness, there are countless intangibles girls can take away from sports. These lessons will last a lifetime, long after the final high school soccer game or swim team race. Our almost four-decades-long commitment to making sure every girl has the opportunity to learn these lessons has uncovered some universal truths everyone must know. They are:

• High school girls who play sports are less likely to be involved in an unintended pregnancy; more likely to get better grades in school and more likely to graduate than girls who do not play sports.

• Girls and women who play sports have higher levels of confidence and self-esteem and lower levels of depression.

• Girls and women who play sports have a more positive body image and experience higher states of psychological well-being than girls and women who do not play sports.

• Females who participate in high school sports are more likely to complete college than those who did not participate in sports.

• As little as four hours of exercise a week may reduce a teenage girl’s risk of breast cancer by up to 60%; breast cancer is a disease that afflicts one out of every eight American women.

• Through sports, girls learn important life skills such as teamwork, leadership and confidence.

• Female athletes who participate on one or two school or community sports teams are significantly less likely to smoke regularly than female non-athletes.

• Sports are an asset to American families, fostering communication and trust between parents and children.

• More than three-quarters of working women feel that sports participation helps enhance their self-image.

• Girls’ involvement with sports is related to higher levels of family satisfaction, in both single-parent and dual-parent families.

• High school female athletes have more positive body images than non-athletes.

How are we helping ensure the successful future of our girls? Learn more about our award-winning GoGirlGo! program here.

Our Mission

The Women’s Sports Foundation is a non-profit that advances the lives of women through sports and physical activity.

About the Foundation

RELATED POSTS

Obesity Associated with Lower Academic Achievement in Teenage Girls, Says New Study

It seems like every week new research is released about the far-reaching negative effects of childhood obesity. Now, British researchers have found a correlation between obesity in teen girls and poor performance in the classroom.

Emotion Commotion: Sanya Richards-Ross on Dealing with Difficult Feelings

A large part of our award-winning GoGirlGo! curriculum is the life lessons from champion female athletes that accompany each chapter of the program. These personal stories from athletes like Tamika Catchings and Julie Foudy strengthen our message and help girls feel comfortable and not alone in their struggles. Whether it's body image, bullying or trouble with parents, our athletes offer advice and a unique perspective on the issues that most affect today’s girls.  In the fourth lesson of our GoGirlGo! curriculum for 11 to 13-year-olds, four-time Olympic gold medalist Sanya Richards-Ross shares her story about dealing with difficult feelings.

Severe Childhood Obesity Decreases in New York City

Appearing to buck national trends, the prevalence of severe obesity among school children in New York City was down by almost 10 percent in the 2010-11 school year from 2006-07, researchers reported last month. The study, published in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease, measured the height and weight dimensions of approximately 947,765 children attending public schools ranging from kindergarten through eighth grade.