Most people with tracking devices such as Fitbits set themselves a daily target of 10000 steps, but women achieve less than half of this.
A study using smartphone accelerometers that record stepping motions found that women manage only 4908 steps on average a day, while men rack up 5982.
Experts are calling on women to close the gap to avoid putting on weight in later life, which can lead to heart disease and stroke.
Lucy Wilkinson, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said, “We know women do less physical activity than men as looking after their home and children can leave them with less time to exercise.
“But taking more steps in a day can help maintain a healthy weight, reduce cholesterol and blood pressure, while doing fewer can raise the risk of cardiovascular disease.
“We want women to incorporate physical activity such as walking into their daily lives.”
The study by Stanford University in the US, published in the journal Nature, took fitness readings from people in 111 countries, including 55110 in the UK.
Dr Jure Leskovec, who led the study, said, “When activity inequality is greatest, women’s activity is reduced more dramatically than men’s activity, thus the negative connections to obesity can affect women more greatly.” - Daily Mail