Campaign backgrounder

Being physically active is essential for health and wellbeing and can help reduce the risk of chronic disease.

Not being active is the leading contributor to preventable illness and morbidity among women.

Despite young women recognising the range of benefits to being physically active, it is clear that when young women exercise they do so at a lower level of intensity, and have higher amounts of sedentary time, than young men1.

Physical activity decreases with age (though not uniformly) with a clear turning point identified in the late teen years.

In addition to greater energy and improved fitness, regular physical activity can help manage stress, alleviate depression and anxiety, strengthen self-esteem, enhance mood and boost mental alertness2.

Many young Australian women don't feel they can be physically active. They face a number of additional barriers not experienced by young men. Girls don't want to be judged or ridiculed. They can be self-conscious about how they might look during and after exercising.

The "Girls make your move" campaign features real girls playing sport and being active. We want to encourage sport and physical activity to be a natural part of young women's lives – enjoyed, not endured.

The campaign aims to encourage and support young women aged 12-19 to be more active and reinforce the benefits of an active life, whether through recreation, sport or other physical activity. The campaign creative materials primarily target young women aged 15-18 to generate intentions to participate in a wide range of physical activities and sport.

The materials present a range of sport and physical activity options in a variety of settings and skill levels for young women to choose something that interests them, and reflects popular sports as well as physical activities that might be surprising or unexpected. Have you thought about roller blading, boxing, rock climbing or yoga?

It also encourages parents of young women to provide support, be active themselves, and encourage family activity.

The campaign supports the Australian Sports Commission's Play.Sport.Australia strategy which promotes participation in sport with a focus on young people.

Girls can follow the campaign’s Instagram site @girlsmakeyourmove for daily tips and inspiration for getting active.

A new ‘Girls Make Your Move’ Facebook page has been launched to encourage girls to share inspiration with their peers and start conversations about their own personal experiences with sport and physical activity.


  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics, Catalogue 4364.0.55.001 – Australian Health Survey: First Results, 2011-12
  2. Bauman A, Bellow B, Vita P, Brown W, Owen N 2002. Getting Australia Active: towards better practice for the promotion of physical activity, National Public Health Partnership, Melbourne, Australia in ABS Australian Health Survey; Physical Activity, 2011-12

Page last updated: 29 May 2018