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Spotlight on women's safety after study shows they walk far fewer steps- report

Lee Baker
12 October 2017
Women walk less because they can feel unsafe, the research suggests
Women walk less because they can feel unsafe, the research suggests


Women walk far less than men in almost every country in the world, according to results from a Stanford study highlighted by an article in The Guardian on "health inequality".

The study suggested that where there is a wide gap between those who walk a lot and those who walk very little, this is a strong predictor for a nation's obesity levels, the article says. "Furthermore, the 'gender step gap' between men and women," the article says, was widest in high-obesity countries - putting women at greater risk of exercise-related health problems later in life."

There was virtually no gender gap in Sweden, but in Qatar women walked 38% fewer steps a day on average, compared to their male counterparts. The Stanford study's lead research Tim Althoff is quoted as saying that where there is such a large gap, this is a societal issue. However, it is not only differences in cultural gender roles that matter, the study suggests, but the 'walkability' of cities.

The Stanford researchers found that UK women took 1,074 fewer steps on average than men every day, it adds - which means almost 400,000 fewer steps a year in total.  

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