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ComRes Survey 4 - Gender

Savanta ComRes interviewed 1,004 Welsh adults (16+) online from the 13th August to 16th August 2021. Data were weighted to be demographically representative of Welsh adults by gender, age, region, social grade, and the estimated households with children under 16. Savanta ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

Participation

Men were more likely than women to exercise most (5+) days in a week, with 33% of men exercising most days, compared to 25% of women. 

Type of physical activity

  • Women were more likely to have taken part in a home-based activity in the last week (18% of men compared to 23% of women)
  • 71% of men and 68% of women took part in a walking activity in the last week
  • Nearly twice as many men as women took part in a cycling activity in the last week (19% of men compared to 10% of women)
  • Similar proportions of men and women ran or jogged in the last week (16% of men and 15% of women)
  • Over a quarter of both men and women felt they were doing more exercise than compared to before the pandemic (29% of women and 27% of men).
  • There was a decrease in participation in specific sports across almost all categories, especially going to the gym and swimming, in which participation decreased by half for both men and women since before the COVID-19 pandemic (Gym: female participation decreased from 28% to 14%, male participation decreased from 20% to 11%; Swimming: female participation decreased from 28% to 14%, male participation decreased from 20% to 9%).

Who was the exercise with?

  • Women were more likely to exercise with someone else
  • Women were more likely to walk for travel with someone else (40% of women compared to 35% of men), and more than twice as likely to walk for travel with a child or children (16% of women compared to 7% of men).
  • They were nearly three times as likely to cycle for leisure with someone else (61% (29) of women compared to 23% of men (18))
  • Women were more likely to swim with others (57%(33) of women compared to 39% (17) of men, but there is little difference between how likely each gender was to do this activity with children (22% of men and 23% of women).
  • Women were more than twice as likely to do an exercise class away from home with somebody else (53% (34) of women compared to 26% of men (13)).

Volunteering

  • Of those who have volunteered in the last 12 months, women are more likely to have stopped volunteering, (women 27% (8) men 20% (10))
  • Both genders are equally likely to volunteer in the next 12 months to support the response to coronavirus (36%), and for a reason other than sport or pandemic response (35%)
  • Men were more likely than women intend to volunteer to support sporting activities in the next 12 months (31% of men compared to 27% of women)

Confidence and Skills

Returning to Facilities

  • Men were often more confident than women returning to outdoor facilities, with less difference for indoor facilities, suggesting that the lack of confidence in women is separate to the risk posed by the ongoing pandemic, for example: 
  • Men were nearly twice as likely to feel confident about returning to grass pitches (41% of men compared to 21% of women).
  • Men were more than twice as confident returning to artificial pitches (33% of men compared to 16% of women)
  • Men were nearly twice as confident as women in returning to golf courses (31% of men compared to 16% of women)
  • In contrast, there was little difference between genders in returning to gyms (30% of men and 28% of women), swimming pools (37% of men and 38% of women), whilst women were slightly more confident about returning to studios (25% of women to 21% of men)
  • Further, of those who did return to facilities, women were more comfortable when using indoor facilities (not including indoor gyms or swimming pools) (75% of women compared to 61% of men).
  • Women were less likely to feel more confident about taking part in sport and physical activity as a result of the ongoing vaccination programme (39% of women compared to 52% of men). 

 

Motivation and Values

Values

  • Men were slightly more likely to find it important to exercise regularly (68% of men compared to 64% of women)
  • Women were more likely to feel guilty about not exercising more (56% of women compared to 48% of men
  • Women were more likely than men to think that it is more important to exercise in the pandemic than in other circumstances (65% of women compared to 59% of men).

Motivation

  • For both men and women, ‘to be physically healthy’ was the main reason why they took part in physical activity (29% of men and 28% of women)
  • Women were more likely than men to say they exercised to ‘feel good’ (20% of women compared to 13% of men) 
  • When looking at those ranked top 5, ‘to be physically healthy’ was still the main reason for both genders, but more likely for women (74% of women compared to 70% of men)
  • Women were also more likely to say spending time with family was important for exercising (34% of women compared to 27% of men 27%)
  • Men were more likely to say they exercised to spend time with friends (30% of men compared to 26% of women)

 

Access (Opportunity and Resources)

  • Men are more likely to feel they have the ability to be physically active (72% of men compared to 66% of women).
  • Men are more likely to feel they have the opportunity to be physically active (71% of men compared to 67% of women).
  • Men are more likely to feel they have more time to be physically active than before the pandemic (71% of men compared to 67% of women).
  • 48% of men and 50% of women found new ways to be active since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Awareness

  • Just under half of both men and women find guidance on taking part in sport and physical activity easy to understand (47% of men and 45% of women)
  • Men and women were similarly likely to be aware of Sport Wales’ Back in the Game campaign (13% of men and 14% of women)

 

The Experience

  • Men were more likely to find exercise enjoyable and satisfying (64% of men compared to 55% of women).