Physical inactivity in children and youth in India is a major public health problem. The 2016 Indian Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth has been conceptualized to highlight this epidemic by appraising behaviors, contexts, strategies, and investments related to physical activity of Indian children and youth.


An international research collaboration resulted in the formation of a Research Working Group (RWG). RWG determined key indicators; identified, synthesized, and analyzed existing evidence; developed criteria for assigning grades; and, finally, assigned grades to indicators based on consensus.


Overall Physical Activity Levels were assigned a grade of C-. Active Transportation and Sedentary Behaviors were both assigned a grade of C. Government Strategies and Investments was assigned a grade of D. Six other indicators, including the country-specific indicator Physical Fitness, were graded as INC (incomplete) due to the lack of nationally representative evidence.


Based on existing evidence, it appears that most Indian children do not achieve recommended levels of physical activity and spend most of their day in sedentary pursuits. The report card identifies gaps in both investments and research that need to be addressed before understanding the complete picture of active living in children and youth in India.

Katapally and McNutt are with the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Regina, Regina, Canada. Goenka and Lamkang are with the Centre for Chronic Conditions and Injuries, Indian Institute of Public Health, Public Health Foundation of India, New Delhi, India. Bhawra is with the School of Public Health and Health Systems, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Canada. Mani is with the Dept of Economics, Fordham University, New York, USA. Krishnaveni is with the Epidemiology Research Unit, CSI Holdsworth Memorial Hospital, Mysuru, India. Kehoe is with the Medical Research Council Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, University of Southampton, Southampton, United Kingdom. Raj is with the Dept of Paediatrics, School of Medicine, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham University, Kochi, India. Katapally ( is corresponding author.