Among the 39 sports surveyed by the National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA), exercise walking, swimming and exercising with equipment attracted the greatest number of female participants seven years of age and older in 2008, according to data in the Association’s Sports Participation reports. Exercise walking attracted 59.3 million females; swimming, 33.3 million; and exercising with equipment, also 33.3 million.
Sports, recreational and fitness activities attracting more than 20 million females were aerobic exercising, 25.6 million; bowling, 24.8 million; camping (vacation/overnight), 23.4 million; and working out at club, 21.6 million.
Attracting more than 10 million females were bicycle riding, 19.4 million; hiking, 18.9 million; running/jogging, 17.2 million; fishing, 13.7 million; weightlifting, 13.5 million; yoga, 12.9 million; power boating, 12.4 million; and billiards/pool, 12.0 million.
“Nine of the 12 most popular sports and activities among girls and women are fitness activities, which clearly shows that females are health and fitness conscious,” said NSGA Vice President of Information & Research Thomas B. Doyle.
Attracting the fewest number of female participants was muzzleloading, 200,000. A complete listing of female participation is posted on the NSGA website www.nsga.org.
For the study, a participant is defined as someone seven or older who participates in a sport more than once within the year. For swimming, exercise walking, bicycling, exercising with equipment, running/jogging, weightlifting and aerobics, a participant is defined as one who is active in a sport six times or more within the year.
The two-part sports participation report is based on a survey of 20,000 U.S. households.