Sport Ireland, in partnership with Healthy Ireland, has launched “It’s My Time”, a new campaign that aims to encourage women over 40 to increase activity levels through exercise and sport.

Repeated studies, including Sport Ireland’s Irish Sport Monitor, have shown that women over 40, particularly those from disadvantaged communities, are amongst the least likely to be physically active or play sport.

Only 28 per cent of women over 40 believe they meet the World Health Organisation’s recommended exercise guidelines of 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week, with the leading barriers to exercise being too tired (64%), a lack of time (41%), a preference to do other things (36%) and injury or disability (31%).

Regular exercise has been found to prevent and lessen menopause-related symptoms, making it even more relevant to this age group.

The significant and varied time pressures on women in their 40, 50s and 60s emerged as work, commuting, childcare, family commitments and managing the household. As a result, 41% don’t have time and almost two-thirds are often too tired to exercise.

The campaign, ‘It’s My Time’, hopes to encourage women to prioritise their wellbeing by getting more physically active on their own terms. The campaign will run across digital, video-on-demand, and social and is supported by various sporting National Governing Bodies and the nationwide network of Local Sports Partnerships.

Women interested in increasing their activity levels can log onto to access specially commissioned exercise videos covering; fitness, flexibility, strength and balance, an educational series covering; muscle health, bone health, cardiovascular health, sleep health, mental health, well-being and nutrition as well as easy to follow and convenient healthy recipes.

The campaign has been championed by Sport Ireland Chief Executive Una May, Sport Ireland’s Women in Sport Lead Nora Stapleton and also supported by the Department of Health Women’s Health Taskforce and Healthy Ireland.

Catherine Martin, Minister for Sport, Jack Chambers, Minster of State for Sport, and Frank Feighan Minister of State at the Department of Health have also extended their support for the campaign.

“Increasing women’s participation in sport and eliminating the participation gap between men and women is a key priority for Government,” said Minister of State Chambers.

“I welcome the ‘It’s My Time’ initiative which will help to encourage women who feel that they don’t have the time in their busy lives to fit in regular exercise.”

“This Government will continue to prioritise those groups that are under-represented in sport and physical activity to enjoy the many benefits that sport and exercise bring. This campaign can play a valuable part in achieving our aims for women in sport.”

“Research has consistently shown that women are amongst those least likely to prioritise themselves, consistently putting others first,” added Minister Martin.

“The It’s My Time campaign is to be warmly welcomed as it will help women put themselves first in terms of making time for exercise and building it into their regular routine, allowing them to enjoy all of the benefits this brings. Individuals, families and communities will benefit as a result.”

“Research has shown that taking part in physical activity has significant benefits for mental as well as physical health and can prevent frailty as we age,” said Minister of State at the Department of Health Frank Feighan.

“Increasing population physical activity levels is a therefore a priority under the National Physical Activity Plan, National Sports Policy and Women’s Health Action Plan. Achieving this goal requires us to reach out to those facing barriers to being active enough, including women over 40, many of whom have significant demands on their time. I am therefore very pleased to welcome this new campaign, supported by the Women’s Health Taskforce, Women’s Health Fund and Healthy Ireland.”

“I know first-hand how difficult it can be for busy women to find time in their day for sport or physical activity and I am delighted that Sport Ireland are launching the It’s My Time initiative,” concluded Sport Ireland CEO Dr Una May.

“This campaign reinforces the vital message that sport and physical activity are so important for our health, mental as well as physical, and wellbeing. We are all too aware that women in this age-group are under-represented when it comes to taking part in sport and physical activity and this campaign will encourage women to fit exercise into their lives in a way that suits them.”