Results From Belgium’s 2016 Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health


This 2016 Belgium Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth is the first systematic evaluation of physical activity (PA) behaviors, related health behaviors, health outcomes, and influences thereon, using the Active Healthy Kids Canada grading framework.


A research working group consisting of PA experts from both Flanders and Wallonia collaborated to determine the indicators to be graded, data sources to be used, and factors to be taken into account during the grading process. Grades were finalized after consensus was reached among the research working group and 2 stakeholder groups consisting of academic and policy experts in the fields of PA, sedentary behavior, and dietary behavior.


Eleven indicators were selected and assigned the following grades: Overall PA (F+), Organized Sport Participation (C-), Active Play (C+), Active Transportation (C-), Sedentary Behaviors (D-), School (B-), Government Strategies and Investment (C+), and Weight Status (D). Incomplete grades were assigned to Family and Peers, Community and the Built Environment, and Dietary Behaviors due to a lack of nationally representative data.


Despite moderately positive social and environmental influences, PA levels of Belgian children and youth are low while levels of sedentary behaviors are high.

Wijtzes and Seghers are with the Dept of Kinesiology, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium. Verloigne and Cardon are with the Dept of Movement and Sport Sciences, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium. Mouton and Cloes are with the Dept of Sport and Physical Activities, University of Liege, Liege, Belgium. De Ridder is with the Scientific Institute of Public Health (WIV-ISP), Brussels, Belgium. Seghers ( is corresponding author.