Women and old folks are becoming the new gym ratsIncreasing numbers of Korean women and senior citizens are participating in sports, a poll showed Wednesday.
The poll of 9,000 people older than 10 nationwide by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism found 62.2 percent regularly took part in more than one sports activity per week for longer than 30 minutes at a time in 2018, up 3 percentage points from the previous year.
The growth rate since 2013 amounted to 16.7 percentage points.
The increase was particularly noticeable among women, ministry officials said.
Women’s sports participation rate rose to 62.8 percent, compared with 61.6 percent for men.
It is the first time women have surpassed men in terms of physical activity participation.
They noted 45.6 percent of women participated in more than three sports activities per week, compared with men’s rate of 35.7 percent.
By age, the growth rate was noteworthy among those in their 40s and those older than 70.
The sports participation rate of those in their 40s jumped from 60.4 percent to 65.7 percent, while people older than 70 raised their participation rate from 54.6 percent to 59.8 percent.
In contrast, teenagers’ participation rate dwindled from 60.4 percent to 57.2 percent.
The officials explained that the latest trends have been caused by rising health awareness among women and older people and increased daily sports programs.