Japanese Survey Finds Declining Physical Fitness Among Middle-Aged Women

Japan data

Sports Association

A survey by the Sports Agency found that there was a trend of declining physical fitness among Japanese women in their forties and fifties.

The results of Japan’s Sports Agency’s fiscal 2021 survey on physical fitness and exercise show that overall scores on physical fitness tests among girls and women increased compared to 10 years ago for children to those in their early thirties and for those in their late fifties until the seventies. In stark contrast, scores dropped significantly among women in their forties and early fifties. If the 2012 result is set to “100,” the result for fiscal 2021 is 95.6 for women ages 40 to 44, 95.7 for women ages 45 to 49, and 96.8 for women ages 50 to 54.

The result in 2021 for men in the same age groups was 100.6, 98.0 and 98.9 respectively, highlighting the decline in fitness among their female counterparts. Experts involved in compiling the survey suggested that the difference could be due to the fact that women in those age groups are busy with their work, housework and child-rearing, and that there are insufficient facilities for casual exercise among women in particular. .

Overall scores on practice tests for different age groups

When the results of the 2021 physical fitness tests are compared to 2019, just before the COVID-19 pandemic, no clear overall trend emerges, as some age groups improved in physical fitness while others declined.

The table below shows a heat map of exercise habits for each age group based on whether individuals exercise at least once a week. The results show that relatively few women of working age exercise, as shown in blue, and that the number of those who do is down compared to 10 years ago.

Percentage of individuals who exercise at least once a week

The survey was conducted from May to October 2021 and targeted 48,000 persons nationwide between the ages of 6 and 79. In addition to performing physical fitness tests in six to eight different categories for young people (6–19 years old), adults (20– 64 years old). ), and seniors (65–79 years old), the survey examined the participants’ exercise habits.

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © Pixta.)

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