Physical Activity – completed

Physical Activity and Women’s Health Task Force:

2002 – WSI Hosts International Conference
Physical Activity and Health Guidelines for Women:
National and International Considerations Related to Ethnicity and Race

St. Louis, USA, June 2, 2002

On June 2, 2002, forty invited participants from around the world gathered in St. Louis, Missouri, USA to bring their expertise to bear on the topic of the Conference.
Considering the fact that the data which support the current American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Position Stand related to physical activity and health have been derived almost exclusively from Caucasian men and women, do the conclusions based on these data apply to other racial/ethnic populations? The group also considered the need for research on the outcome from programs which are tailored to diverse cultural/community values and preferences.

WomenSport International has actively supported the World Health Organization’s statement that enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is a fundamental human right by promoting physical activity as essential in ensuring that girls and women achieve that goal. To do that we need to learn more about the health problems of girls and women globally, the social and cultural constraints relating to their participation in sport and physical activity, the current opportunities for women to participate in activity programs, and how WSI might positively interact with local groups to enhance those opportunities.

The WSI Conference was devoted to determining the current status of our knowledge regarding the physiological, psychological and social-cultural response to exercise of various ethnic/racial groups of women, identifying prevalent health problems in developing countries which might be prevented or attenuated by physical activity, ascertaining the status of women in various countries and what programmatic efforts might enable sport/exercise to be incorporated into their lifestyle, and how WSI can most effectively aid in providing the knowledge and opportunities for women to gain the health benefits that accrue from physical activity.

Conference Program


Welcome and Introduction of Chairs: Carole Oglesby, Ph.D., WSI President, USA
Co-Chairs: Barbara L. Drinkwater, Ph.D., USA and Carol Rodgers, Ph.D., Canada

1.Keynote: Status of physical activity programs for women in emerging nations: A health related issue?
Fiona Bull, Ph.D., USA

2. Keynote: UN DAW/WHO position on health & physical activity for women
Joyce Braak, M.D., USA

3. Ethical implication of denying women opportunities to participate in physical activity
Fan Hong, China, for Angela Schneider, Ph.D., Canada

4. Current state of knowledge re health & physical activity in non-western/non-Caucasian populations.

a. Africa: Tracy Kolbe, B.Sc., Ph.D. candidate
b. South America: Patricia Sangenis, M.D., Argentina
c. Asia: Tomo Kanda, Ph.D., Japan

5. Can our current fund of research data apply to women in other racial/ethnic populations?
a. Cardiovascular disease: I-min Lee, M.D., Ph.D., USA
b. Breast cancer: Anne McTiernan, MD, Ph.D., USA
c. Diabetes: Amy D. Otto, Ph.D., R.D., USA
d. Reproductive area: M.J. DeSouza, Ph.D., Canada
e. Osteoporosis: Barbara L. Drinkwater, Ph.D., USA

Co-Chairs: Natalia Stambulova, Ph.D., Russia and Don Sabo, Ph.D., USA

6. Keynote: Physical Activity as an Empowerment Context:
Marit Sorenson, Ph.D., Norway

7. Empowerment through sport for disadvantaged and HIV at risk girls in Zambia:
Oscar Mwaanga, B.S., Zambia

8. Keynote: Violence against girls and women in sports – implications for health and quality of life:
Kari Fasting, Ph.D., Norway Co-Chairs: Yvonne Harahousou, Ph.D., Greece and Teopista Birungi, Ph.D.

9. Impact of culture on physical education and sporting opportunities – Examples from different countries:

1. Denise Jones, Ph.D., South Africa
2. Gloria Diaz, Ph.D., Puerto Rico
3. Florence Adeyanju, PhD., Nigeria
4. Fan Hong, Ph.D., China

Evening : The challenge
Group sessions to arrive at specific proposals to address the issues discussed during the day.

Establish a research agenda for physiological and medical issues: What are the most pressing needs and what can WSI do to address them?
Facilitator – Carol Rodgers, Ph.D., Canada
Download Physiological and Medical Issues Task Report (.pdf)

Establish a research agenda for Social Science issues: What are the most pressing needs and what can WSI do to address them?
Facilitator – Don Sabo, Ph.D., USA
Download Social Science Issues Task Report (.pdf)

What personal and structural changes have to be made so that sports/exercise programs for girls and women may be created and enhanced for disadvantaged groups?
Facilitator – Nina Kahrs, Ph.D., Norway

How can WSI and other women’s sports advocacy groups cooperate with WHO and UN oriented groups to establish sport/exercise opportunities for women?
Facilitator – Carole Oglesby, Ph.D., USA
Download Sport/Exercise Opportunities Advocacy Task Report (.pdf)