This report by Women in Sport explores the reasons why women in midlife are less physically active and makes a series of recommendations to try and change this moving forward. The findings of the report show that a third of women aged 41 to 60 are not meeting the Chief Medical Officer’s guidelines of 150 minutes per week of exercise and a fifth are not achieving even 30 minutes per week. Furthermore, those in lower socioeconomic groups are even less likely to be active: only 50% of women in this group are meeting guidelines for activity, compared to 72% of women in the highest groups.

The report outlines the methodology behind Women in Sports research, where middle aged women from London, Birmingham and Middlesbrough were approached to understand the experiences they face and how this impacts their ability to be physically active. More information on menopause and how this can affect women’s physical activity is detailed, including details on weight gain, health concerns and poor sleep as well as the wide range of psychological and social impacts. Detailed recommendations on how to support and engage these women are included in the report, including increasing their sense of belonging and providing solid support networks for these women moving forward.