Athletics

Move every mind

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A recent study from ASICS has uncovered a gender exercise gap and the global brand is looking for your help to better understand how to support women when it comes to exercise inequality

Last year, ASICS launched its inaugural State of Mind Index, with the aim of exploring the positive relationship between exercise and mental health. Conducted in 16 countries and involving 37,000 people, the study proved a direct correlation between exercise and improved mental health – the more you move, the better you feel. 

However, it also revealed a gender exercise gap which showed that women, especially young women, are exercising significantly less than men. The desire to better understand what is causing this exercise inequality and what could be done to address it is driving ASICS’ next major piece of work – the new Move Every Mind study. 

The global sportswear brand is looking to understand the motivators, barriers and facilitators of women’s exercise levels and sports participation, as well as any differences between generations and geographies. 

ASICS is asking for people across the world to share their perspectives – not just women, but also coaches, partners, training partners and parents. In other words, those in a position to relay positive experiences and provide insight around this issue which could help inform solutions. 

Leading the study are Dee Dlugonski PhD, Assistant Professor at Sports Medicine Research Institute, University of Kentucky, and Brendon Stubbs PhD, Research Professor, King’s College London – two of the world’s leading researchers in movement and wellbeing. 

Dlugonski is also a former collegiate swimmer and coach and we spoke with her to find out more about Move Every Mind.

Dee Dlugonski PhD (ASICS/Andy Astfalck)

What is your motivation for wanting to be part of the study?

My experiences in the sport of swimming as an athlete and a coach had a transformative impact on my life. Now, as a researcher, my goal is to work with communities to design approaches for increasing physical activity among women, children and families.

When ASICS presented me with the opportunity to serve as a Study Lead for the Move Every Mind study, it felt like a great opportunity to blend my experiences in sport and research. 

I was most excited about the ability to reach a larger audience and have a greater impact with this research.

Why do you think this piece of work is so important and why take the survey?

We know that from a very early age, girls are less likely to be active than boys and, overall, this trend continues into adulthood. This means that a significant portion of our world population is missing out on the many mental and physical benefits that come from exercise and sport.

To close this gap, we have designed the Move Every Mind survey to learn about barriers and facilitators that are impacting exercise and sport participation. We are seeking input from everyone, regardless of gender, sport participation or exercise level. We are also seeking input from individuals who are coaching, teaching and mentoring girls and women.

We have taken this broad approach because we know that communities of athletes and coaches have incredible knowledge to share about their experiences that can help us to improve exercise and sport experiences for the next generation of girls and women.

What do you hope is achieved as a result?

First, I hope that participating in the survey becomes a conversation starter in communities around the globe about how to create sport and exercise experiences that support the needs and preferences of girls and women. Once we have the results, I am excited to work alongside ASICS to create a roadmap with strategic efforts to address the barriers identified in our research.

The exercise gap did not appear in a day and it will not disappear overnight, but with consistent efforts and partner organisations around the globe, together, we can move every mind!

» The Move Every Mind survey will be open until August 31, 2023. The results will be grouped, analysed and shared publicly in the autumn, so we can all better understand the challenges and opportunities for women across the globe. The results will also help inform ASICS on ways to support women to participate more in exercise and sport. 

» Click here to find out more, take part in the survey and help ASICS close the gender exercise gap by sharing your invaluable insights.

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