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Women Health. 1997;26(3):27-49.

Physical activity and women in the United States: an overview of health benefits, prevalence, and intervention opportunities.

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Prevention Research Center, School of Public Health, Saint Louis University, MO 63108-3342, USA.


Despite decades of physical activity research and interventions conducted on men, very little is known about the patterns of physical activity among US women. Rates from several national surveys show much lower rates of physical activity for women than for men. Among women, rates may vary by socioeconomic status. Studies relating physical activity and experience with heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, and mental health are discussed. Interventions in the workplace and the community may increase the level of physical activity among US women. A history of not participating in exercise and lack of time for this activity appear to be important constraints for many women. The Surgeon General's Report on physical activity sanctioned future research on specific groups, such as women. Applied research coupled with community and workplace policies that support women's efforts to be more physically active may decrease the rates of some chronic diseases in this population.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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