2 August 2017
Netherlands and Liverpool striker Shanice van de Sanden shows her support for the Make A Healthy Heart Your Goal campaign
Fans and staff travelling to UEFA Women’s Euro 2017 fixtures in the Netherlands have boosted their heart health by walking and cycling nearly 2,000 km to host stadia. And it seems that more women are being inspired to take up the beautiful game, as new research reveals that a quarter of 18-34 year old women in Europe would like to play football - with Britain top of the pile!
Women, children and families from all over Europe have used the Active Match Mobile App over the tournament. App users have collectively burned a total of 74,542 calories, and saved 236,281g CO2 emissions by choosing to be active on their journey to support their favourite women’s football team.
The free to use Active Match Mobile App, developed by The European Healthy Stadia Network, is part of A Healthy Heart Your Goal. This joint campaign by the World Heart Federation, UEFA, The Dutch Heart Foundation, the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) and the European Healthy Stadia Network aims to raise awareness of heart health and encourage women, children and fans to be more physically active.
In the Netherlands and the rest of Europe, cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death for women, with one in three dying from heart related illnesses. Just 30 minutes of moderate exercise, 5 days a week can boost heart health and help prevent heart disease and stroke. Close to 650 fans and staff have taken on board the message of incorporating 30 minutes of activity into their daily routine by walking or cycling to their match with the #ActiveMatchApp.
Playing football is an ideal activity to boost heart health. Encouragingly, it seems that interest in football is growing amongst women across Europe: nearly a third (29%) of those questioned in the UK, France, Germany and Sweden are keen on watching football, according to new research from the World Heart Federation amongst over 4,000 women. More importantly the younger generation of women are taking up the sport, with nearly one in five (19%) of 18-24 year olds in the four countries playing football, compared to just 4% of 45-54 year olds.
The research also reveals that the number of female footballers is set to rise, with a quarter of 18-34 year old women questioned saying that they would like to play the game.
Of the four countries, British women are the most football crazy, with a quarter (24%) of 18-24 year olds questioned currently playing, and nearly a third (31%) wanting to play. The figures are also high across Europe, with 25% of German women and 22% of French women wanting to play football. At 13%, Swedish women seemed less keen to play, although over a quarter (27%) of 18-24 year olds said they enjoy watching the game.
Peter Gilliéron, Chairman of the UEFA Fair Play and Social Responsibility Committee said: "Interest in women's football has increased enormously over the past 10 years, and it's great to see that women are not only watching more football, they're getting out and playing.
"Whether it's in the park with friends, kicking about in the garden with kids, or at a weekend league match, football is an ideal way to keep active while having fun."
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