Women’s Sports Foundation did an initial report about the impact of sports in 2004. They updated it with a 142 page report, Her Life Depends on It II, in December 2009. This reports is a review of existing research on the links between sports and physical activity and the health and well-being of American girls and women.
There is a TON of material in this report. In addition to outlining the general conclusions here, I will also look at the source data as much as possible and post it as well.
- Research affirms, even more definitively than five years ago, that engagement in moderate and consistent levels of physical activity and sport for girls and women is essential to good health and well-being.
- Although more research needs to be done, early studies examining the connections between physical activity and academic achievement show there is a positive relationship between the two in girls and women.
- Females from lower economic backgrounds and females of color engage less in physical activity, have less access to sport and physical fitness programs, and suffer negative health consequences as a result.
- Emerging research in prevention and training practices show that gender-conscious approaches to physical training and conditioning for female athletes help to reduce the likelihood of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries and concussions.