Results from Colombia’s 2014 Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
Restricted access


Physical activity (PA) is central to the global agenda for the prevention on noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). Although 80% of NCDs occur in low-to-middle-income countries, the evidence on PA comes mainly from high-income countries. In this context, the report card for Colombia is an advocacy tool to help in the translation of evidence into concrete actions. The aims of this paper were two-fold: to present the methodology used to develop the first Report Card on Physical Activity in Colombian Children and Youth and to summarize the results.


Twelve indicators of PA were graded using numerical grades (5, highest, to 1, lowest) based on data from national surveys and policy documents.


National policy and obesity indicators were graded “4,” while departmental policy and overweight indicators were graded “3.” Overall PA levels, sports participation, sedentary behaviors and nongovernment initiatives were graded “2,” and school influence was graded “1.” Active transportation, active play, low cardiorespiratory fitness, and family and community influence received an incomplete.


PA levels are low and sedentary behaviors are high in Colombian children and youth. Although the prevalence of obesity in Colombia is lower compared with other Latin American countries, it is increasing. A rich legal framework and availability of institutional arrangements provide unique opportunities to bridge the gap between knowledge and practice that need to be evaluated.

González and Sarmiento (corresponding author: co) are with the Dept of Public Health, School of Medicine, Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia and the Group of Epidemiology at Universidad de los Andes–Epiandes, Bogotá, Colombia. Cohen is with the MASIRA Institute. School of Health Sciences, Universidad de Santander, Bucaramanga, Colombia and the Research Dept, Fundación Oftalmológica de Santander, Bucaramanga, Colombia. Camargo is with the Physical Therapy School, Universidad Industrial de Santander, Bucaramanga, Colombia. Correa is with the Center for Measurement Studies in Physical Activity CEMA, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universidad del Rosario, Bogotá, Colombia. Páez is with the Group of Epidemiology at Universidad de los Andes–Epiandes, Bogotá, Colombia. Ramírez-Vélez is with the School of Physical Culture, Sports and Recreation, Universidad de Santo Tomás, Bogotá, Colombia.