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Discuss the area of Teenage girls' participation in PA.

The essay needs to be of approximately 1000 -1500 words length. In your report use the following format: times new roman 12-point font, double-spaced, with 2.5 cm margins.

VU referencing and citation procedures need to be adopted.



Evidence indicates that involvement in physical activities improves the physical and psychological health of an individual, and teenage girls are no exception. However, the area of concern that has been noted all across the globe including Australia, that participation in physical activity by teenage girls is decreasing day by day. This dissertation aims to review the factors that restrain physical activity in Australian teenage girls and the benefits of physical activity on them (Armstrong and Welsman, 1997).

Benefits of Physical Activity

The effects of physical activity on physical health are well established. Regular involvement of physical activity has been associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases and better quality of life. Obesity is an area of concern especially in urbanized girls, and girls from minority communities, where the involvement of physical activity is very important. Obesity leads to dyslipidemia, hypertension and abnormal glucose tolerance that may affect the health of teenage girls at an adult age. Physical activity has been recognized as a weight control feature in girls that increases calorie expenditure and reduces the body mass index significantly (Armstrong and Welsman, 1997) (Sallis et al, 2000) .

             There has also been growing evidence on the effects of physical activity on the mental health of teenage girls. Physical inactivity has been related to low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression in teenage girls. Further, there has been evidence of increased substance abuse and eating disorders in teenage girls who do not involve in regular physical activity. Major Depressive disorder and chances of increased suicide in girls with reduced physical activity (Sallis et al, 2000).


Empirical research has indicated that physical inactivity in teenage girls is becoming an area of growing concern all across the globe. There has been a decreasing trend in physical activity in girls compared to boys, especially in the teenage groups. A study done on US individuals indicated that decline in physical activity during secondary schooling was 7.4% for girls compared to 2.7% for boys. On the other hand, a study done on Australian teenage population indicated that female adolescents and teenagers were 20% less active than their male counterparts. The sedentary lifestyles of teenage girls were strongly correlated to the risk of ill-health both during adolescence and during adulthood (Kay, 2003)(Robbins, 2003).

Factors Contributing to Physical Inactivity

There has been a genetic predisposition towards physical inactivity, which is aggravated by various factors that are discussed below. It has been speculated that physical activity decreases in childhood and adolescence and the decline is steep from 11 or 12 years of age. This is primarily attributed to the biological changes coupled with socialization influences that occur in an adolescent girl. Moreover, research has indicated that the perceived barriers to physical activities are the leading causes that drive physical inactivity in teenage girls all throughout the world. The barriers that are identified are the self-decision of teenage girls in performing other activities in preference to physical exercise, incompatible weather conditions, dissatisfaction with school physical education classes and inconvenience of adequate sporting provision (Robbins, 2003).

            Peers and family support have been strongly correlated to the physical activity in teenage girls. The impact of role models has also found to have a profound impact on the extent of physical activity. In fact setting of role models has helped to groom various teenage girls for their ambition as professional athletes. The various factors that limit physical activity in teenage girls include motivational factors, perceived competence required for a particular physical activity, hereditary issues and fitness levels. The social hindrances include peer group and cultural perceptions while the physiological hindrance includes issues associated with the onset of puberty (Robbins, 2003)………….

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