Unconfident teenagers would feel less awkward if they took more exercise.

This link has been discovered in a study carried out by Gillian Burgess and colleagues from the Manchester Metropolitan University and Edinburgh University. They revealed their findings in a poster presentation at the British Psychological Society Annual Conference on Thursday 3 April 2008.

This five-year study revealed that teenager's physical self worth decreased significantly between the ages of 11 to 16 for females but not for their male counterparts. The study found that this corresponded with a drop in activity levels at this age. It was found that there was a sharp decline in physical activity for girls aged 13-15 but not for their male classmates.

The reasons for these decreases may be due, to the increased self-consciousness experienced during adolescence as well as increased academic pressures felt due to the Standard Attainment Tests (SAT's). This may affect females more because they perceive academic success as more important than excelling in sports. This may result in decreases in physical activity and physical self-worth.

Gillian Burgess said " We need to develop strategies within and beyond the national curriculum that help encourage teenagers, particularly females to engage in more physical activity. As our findings suggest, this can have a positive impact on their physical self worth as they will be able to excel both academically and physically."

British Psychological Society

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