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Open access

Status and Trends of Physical Activity Surveillance, Policy, and Research in 164 Countries: Findings From the Global Observatory for Physical Activity—GoPA! 2015 and 2020 Surveys

Andrea Ramírez Varela, Pedro C. Hallal, Juliana Mejía Grueso, Željko Pedišić, Deborah Salvo, Anita Nguyen, Bojana Klepac, Adrian Bauman, Katja Siefken, Erica Hinckson, Adewale L. Oyeyemi, Justin Richards, Elena Daniela Salih Khidir, Shigeru Inoue, Shiho Amagasa, Alejandra Jauregui, Marcelo Cozzensa da Silva, I-Min Lee, Melody Ding, Harold W. Kohl III, Ulf Ekelund, Gregory W. Heath, Kenneth E. Powell, Charlie Foster, Aamir Raoof Memon, Abdoulaye Doumbia, Abdul Roof Rather, Abdur Razzaque, Adama Diouf, Adriano Akira Hino, Albertino Damasceno, Alem Deksisa Abebe, Alex Antonio Florindo, Alice Mannocci, Altyn Aringazina, Andrea Backović Juričan, Andrea Poffet, Andrew Decelis, Angela Carlin, Angelica Enescu, Angélica María Ochoa Avilés, Anna Kontsevaya, Annamaria Somhegyi, Anne Vuillemin, Asmaa El Hamdouchi, Asse Amangoua Théodore, Bojan Masanovic, Brigid M. Lynch, Catalina Medina, Cecilia del Campo, Chalchisa Abdeta, Changa Moreways, Chathuranga Ranasinghe, Christina Howitt, Christine Cameron, Danijel Jurakić, David Martinez-Gomez, Dawn Tladi, Debrework Tesfaye Diro, Deepti Adlakha, Dušan Mitić, Duško Bjelica, Elżbieta Biernat, Enock M. Chisati, Estelle Victoria Lambert, Ester Cerin, Eun-Young Lee, Eva-Maria Riso, Felicia Cañete Villalba, Felix Assah, Franjo Lovrić, Gerardo A. Araya-Vargas, Giuseppe La Torre, Gloria Isabel Niño Cruz, Gul Baltaci, Haleama Al Sabbah, Hanna Nalecz, Hilde Liisa Nashandi, Hyuntae Park, Inés Revuelta-Sánchez, Jackline Jema Nusurupia, Jaime Leppe Zamora, Jaroslava Kopcakova, Javier Brazo-Sayavera, Jean-Michel Oppert, Jinlei Nie, John C. Spence, John Stewart Bradley, Jorge Mota, Josef Mitáš, Junshi Chen, Kamilah S Hylton, Karel Fromel, Karen Milton, Katja Borodulin, Keita Amadou Moustapha, Kevin Martinez-Folgar, Lara Nasreddine, Lars Breum Christiansen, Laurent Malisoux, Leapetswe Malete, Lorelie C. Grepo-Jalao, Luciana Zaranza Monteiro, Lyutha K. Al Subhi, Maja Dakskobler, Majed Alnaji, Margarita Claramunt Garro, Maria Hagströmer, Marie H. Murphy, Matthew  Mclaughlin, Mercedes Rivera-Morales, Mickey Scheinowitz, Mimoza Shkodra, Monika Piątkowska, Moushumi Chaudhury, Naif Ziyad Alrashdi, Nanette Mutrie, Niamh Murphy, Norhayati Haji Ahmad, Nour A. Obeidat, Nubia Yaneth Ruiz Gómez, Nucharapon Liangruenrom, Oscar Díaz Arnesto, Oscar Flores-Flores, Oscar Incarbone, Oyun Chimeddamba, Pascal Bovet, Pedro Magalhães, Pekka Jousilahti, Piyawat Katewongsa, Rafael Alexander Leandro Gómez, Rawan Awni Shihab, Reginald Ocansey, Réka Veress, Richard Marine, Rolando Carrizales-Ramos, Saad Younis Saeed, Said El-Ashker, Samuel Green, Sandra Kasoma, Santiago Beretervide, Se-Sergio Baldew, Selby Nichols, Selina Khoo, Seyed Ali Hosseini, Shifalika Goenka, Shima Gholamalishahi, Soewarta Kosen, Sofie Compernolle, Stefan Paul Enescu, Stevo Popovic, Susan Paudel, Susana Andrade, Sylvia Titze, Tamu Davidson, Theogene Dusingizimana, Thomas E. Dorner, Tracy L. Kolbe-Alexander, Tran Thanh Huong, Vanphanom Sychareun, Vera Jarevska-Simovska, Viliami Kulikefu Puloka, Vincent Onywera, Wanda Wendel-Vos, Yannis Dionyssiotis, and Michael Pratt

Background: Physical activity (PA) surveillance, policy, and research efforts need to be periodically appraised to gain insight into national and global capacities for PA promotion. The aim of this paper was to assess the status and trends in PA surveillance, policy, and research in 164 countries. Methods: We used data from the Global Observatory for Physical Activity (GoPA!) 2015 and 2020 surveys. Comprehensive searches were performed for each country to determine the level of development of their PA surveillance, policy, and research, and the findings were verified by the GoPA! Country Contacts. Trends were analyzed based on the data available for both survey years. Results: The global 5-year progress in all 3 indicators was modest, with most countries either improving or staying at the same level. PA surveillance, policy, and research improved or remained at a high level in 48.1%, 40.6%, and 42.1% of the countries, respectively. PA surveillance, policy, and research scores decreased or remained at a low level in 8.3%, 15.8%, and 28.6% of the countries, respectively. The highest capacity for PA promotion was found in Europe, the lowest in Africa and low- and lower-middle-income countries. Although a large percentage of the world’s population benefit from at least some PA policy, surveillance, and research efforts in their countries, 49.6 million people are without PA surveillance, 629.4 million people are without PA policy, and 108.7 million live in countries without any PA research output. A total of 6.3 billion people or 88.2% of the world’s population live in countries where PA promotion capacity should be significantly improved. Conclusion: Despite PA is essential for health, there are large inequalities between countries and world regions in their capacity to promote PA. Coordinated efforts are needed to reduce the inequalities and improve the global capacity for PA promotion.

Open access

Effect of Elite Sport on Physical Activity Practice in the General Population: A Systematic Review

Alexis Lion, Anne Vuillemin, Florian Léon, Charles Delagardelle, and Aurélie van Hoye

Background: Our study investigated the effect of elite sport on physical activity (PA) practice in the general population. Methods: Structured Boolean searches were conducted across 5 electronic databases (PubMed, JSTOR, Web of Science, SPORTDiscus, and PsycInfo) from January 2000 to August 2021. Peer-reviewed studies in English were included if the effects of hosting elite sport events, elite sport success, and elite sport role modeling on PA/sport practice in the general population were measured. Results: We identified 12,563 articles and included 36 articles. Most studies investigated the effect of hosting elite sport events (n = 27), followed by elite sport success (n = 16) and elite sport role modeling (n = 3). Most studies did not observe a positive effect of hosting elite sport events, elite sport success, or elite sport role modeling on PA/sport practice in the general population. No evidence of a lagged effect of elite sport was observed. No evidence of elite sport effects was observed according to age range and geographical scale. Conclusion: There is no evidence supporting the effect of elite sport in increasing PA or sport participation in the general population. Decision makers and policymakers should be aware of this and invest in strategies such as those recommended by the World Health Organization.

Open access

Advocating for Implementation of the Global Action Plan on Physical Activity: Challenges and Support Requirements

Joey Murphy, Karen Milton, Matthew Mclaughlin, Trevor Shilton, Gabriella M. McLoughlin, Lindsey J. Reece, Jacqueline L. Mair, Artur Direito, Katharina E. Kariippanon, Kelly J. Mackenzie, Myrto F. Mavilidi, Erin M. Shellington, Masamitsu Kamada, Leonie Heron, Edtna Jauregui, Chalchisa Abdeta, Ilaria Pina, Ryan Pinto, and Rachel Sutherland

Background: There is limited understanding of the challenges experienced and supports required to aid effective advocacy of the Global Action Plan on Physical Activity (GAPPA). The purpose of this study was to assess the challenges experienced and supports needed to advocate for the GAPPA across countries of different income levels. Methods: Stakeholders working in an area related to the promotion of physical activity were invited to complete an online survey. The survey assessed current awareness and engagement with the GAPPA, factors related to advocacy, and the perceived challenges and supports related to advocacy for implementation of the GAPPA. Closed questions were analyzed in SPSS, with a Pearson’s chi-square test used to assess differences between country income level. Open questions were analyzed using inductive thematic analysis. Results: Participants (n = 518) from 81 countries completed the survey. Significant differences were observed between country income level for awareness of the GAPPA and perceived country engagement with the GAPPA. Challenges related to advocacy included a lack of support and engagement, resources, priority, awareness, advocacy education and training, accessibility, and local application. Supports needed for future advocacy included guidance and support, cooperation and alliance, advocacy education and training, and advocacy resources. Conclusions: Although stakeholders from different country income levels experience similar advocacy challenges and required supports, how countries experience these can be distinct. This research has highlighted some specific ways in which those involved in the promotion of physical activity can be supported to scale up advocacy for the GAPPA. When implementing such supports, consideration of regional, geographic, and cultural barriers and opportunities is important to ensure they are effective and equitable.

Open access

Erratum. Changes in Physical Activity, Sleep, Mental Health, and Social Media Use During COVID-19 Lockdown Among Adolescent Girls: A Mixed-Methods Study

Open access

Racialized Women in Sport in Canada: A Scoping Review

Janelle Joseph, Bahar Tajrobehkar, Gabriela Estrada, and Zeana Hamdonah

Background: This scoping literature review examines: What literature exists about the sport and physical activity experiences of racialized cis and trans women, adolescents, and girls in Canada? Methods: English language peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and gray literature published January 1, 2000, up to May 31, 2020, were examined. The databases used were SPORTDiscus via EBSCO, Sociological Abstracts, Sport Medicine and Education Index, and Google Scholar. The 42 studies and 15 gray literatures found included 1430 participants explicitly specified as racialized women/girl participants. Results: There was a paucity of literature on the topic overall with none (n = 0) focused on experiences of racialized trans women. The limited research notes some successful programs that address racialized women’s needs. However, the research also shows widespread experiences of discrimination against women based on racial group and language and limited access to culturally relevant or welcoming sporting opportunities, such as women-only programs and spaces. Conclusions: Much more research should be done to disaggregate “immigrants” into specific racial and ethnic groups, attend to intersectional identities and barriers, understand a wide range of involvement (eg, including coaching, high performance sport, recreation, exercise, university sport, mentorship programs), document racism and White privilege, and describe the joys of participation in sport for racialized women.

Open access

Science has no Borders, so Should Scientific Publishing: A Position Statement from the Journal of Physical Activity and Health

Ding Ding, Valerie Carson, Ruth F. Hunter, Alejandra Jáuregui, Tracy Kolbe-Alexander, Eun-Young Lee, Jacqueline L. Mair, Gregore Iven Mielke, Adewale L. Oyeyemi, Andrea Ramírez Varela, Deborah Salvo, Katja Siefken, Rafael M. Tassitano, Esther van Sluijs, and Pedro C. Hallal

Open access

Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance Global Matrix 4.0—A Resource for Physical Activity Researchers

Mark S. Tremblay, Joel D. Barnes, Iryna Demchenko, Silvia A. Gonzalez, Javier Brazo-Sayavera, Jakub Kalinowski, Peter T. Katzmarzyk, Taru Manyanga, John J. Reilly, Stephen Heung Sang Wong, and Salomé Aubert

Background: This brief report provides an overview of the Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance (AHKGA); an introduction to the Global Matrix 4.0; an explanation of the value and opportunities that the AHKGA efforts and assets provide to the physical activity research, policy, practice, and advocacy community; an outline of the series of papers related to the Global Matrix 4.0 in this issue of the Journal of Physical Activity and Health; and an invitation for future involvement. Methods: The AHKGA was formed to help power the global movement to get kids moving. In 2019–2021, we recruited countries to participate in the Global Matrix 4.0, a worldwide initiative to assess, compare, and contrast the physical activity of children and adolescents. Results: A total of 57 countries/jurisdictions (hereafter referred to as countries for simplicity) were recruited. The current activities of the AHKGA are summarized. The overall findings of the Global Matrix 4.0 are presented in a series of papers in this issue of the Journal of Physical Activity and Health. Conclusions: The Global Matrix 4.0 and other assets of the AHKGA are publicly available, and physical activity researchers, practitioners, policy makers, and advocates are encouraged to exploit these resources to further their efforts.

Open access

Association Between Physical Activity Indicators and Human Development Index at a National Level: Information From Global Matrix 4.0 Physical Activity Report Cards for Children and Adolescents

Diego Augusto Santos Silva, Salomé Aubert, Kwok Ng, Shawnda A. Morrison, Jonathan Y. Cagas, Riki Tesler, Dawn Tladi, Taru Manyanga, Silvia A. González, Eun-Young Lee, and Mark S. Tremblay

Background: The aim of this study was to explore the associations between the 10 key indicators of the Global Matrix 4.0 project and human development index (HDI) at a national level according to sex, age, area of residence, and ability levels. Methods: Information from the 57 countries/localities included in the Global Matrix 4.0 project was compiled and presented according to the HDI of each country/locality for each of the 10 key indicators. Grades were assigned based on the benchmarks of the Global Matrix 4.0 project ranged between “A+” (best performance) and “F” (worst performance). Results: The population subgroups of females, children, rural residents, with/without disabilities from countries/localities with higher HDI performed better in the organized sport and physical activity indicator than their peers from countries/localities with lower HDI. Children and adolescents living in rural areas of countries/localities with higher HDI showed better performance for active play, and children and adolescents living in urban areas of countries/localities with lower HDI showed better performance for the active transportation. Countries/localities with higher HDI showed better grades for sources of influence than the countries/localities with lower HDI. Conclusions: Physical activity patterns in some population subgroups of children and adolescents differed according to the development level of countries/localities.

Open access

Economic Freedom, Climate Culpability, and Physical Activity Indicators Among Children and Adolescents: Report Card Grades From the Global Matrix 4.0

Eun-Young Lee, Patrick Abi Nader, Salomé Aubert, Silvia A. González, Peter T. Katzmarzyk, Asaduzzaman Khan, Wendy Y. Huang, Taru Manyanga, Shawnda Morrison, Diego Augusto Santos Silva, and Mark S. Tremblay

Background: Macrolevel factors such as economic and climate factors can be associated with physical activity indicators. This study explored patterns and relationships between economic freedom, climate culpability, and Report Card grades on physical activity-related indicators among 57 countries/jurisdictions participating in the Global Matrix 4.0. Methods: Participating countries/jurisdictions provided Report Card grades on 10 common indicators. Information on economic freedom and climatic factors were gathered from public data sources. Correlations between the key variables were provided by income groups (ie, low- and middle-income countries/jurisdictions and high-income countries/jurisdictions [HIC]). Results: HIC were more economically neoliberal and more responsible for climate change than low- and middle-income countries. Annual temperature and precipitation were negatively correlated with behavioral/individual indicators in low- and middle-income countries but not in HIC. In HIC, correlations between climate culpability and behavioral/individual and economic indicators were more apparent. Overall, poorer grades were observed in highly culpable countries/jurisdictions in the highly free group, while in less/moderately free groups, less culpable countries/jurisdictions showed poorer grades than their counterparts in their respective group by economic freedom. Conclusions: Global-level physical activity promotion strategies should closely evaluate different areas that need interventions tailored by income groups, with careful considerations for inequities in the global political economy and climate change.

Open access

Global Matrix 4.0 Physical Activity Report Card Grades for Children and Adolescents: Results and Analyses From 57 Countries

Salomé Aubert, Joel D. Barnes, Iryna Demchenko, Myranda Hawthorne, Chalchisa Abdeta, Patrick Abi Nader, José Carmelo Adsuar Sala, Nicolas Aguilar-Farias, Susana Aznar, Peter Bakalár, Jasmin Bhawra, Javier Brazo-Sayavera, Mikel Bringas, Jonathan Y. Cagas, Angela Carlin, Chen-Kang Chang, Bozhi Chen, Lars Breum Christiansen, Candice Jo-Anne Christie, Gabriela Fernanda De Roia, Christine Delisle Nyström, Yolanda Demetriou, Visnja Djordjic, Arunas Emeljanovas, Liri Findling Endy, Aleš Gába, Karla I. Galaviz, Silvia A. González, Kylie D. Hesketh, Wendy Yajun Huang, Omphile Hubona, Justin Y. Jeon, Danijel Jurakić, Jaak Jürimäe, Tarun Reddy Katapally, Piyawat Katewongsa, Peter T. Katzmarzyk, Yeon-Soo Kim, Estelle Victoria Lambert, Eun-Young Lee, Sharon Levi, Pablo Lobo, Marie Löf, Tom Loney, José Francisco López-Gil, Juan López-Taylor, Evelin Mäestu, Agus Mahendra, Daga Makaza, Marla Frances T. Mallari, Taru Manyanga, Bojan Masanovic, Shawnda A. Morrison, Jorge Mota, Falk Müller-Riemenschneider, Laura Muñoz Bermejo, Marie H. Murphy, Rowena Naidoo, Phuong Nguyen, Susan Paudel, Željko Pedišić, Jorge Pérez-Gómez, John J. Reilly, Anne Kerstin Reimers, Amie B. Richards, Diego Augusto Santos Silva, Pairoj Saonuam, Olga L. Sarmiento, Vedrana Sember, Mohd Razif Shahril, Melody Smith, Martyn Standage, Gareth Stratton, Narayan Subedi, Tuija H. Tammelin, Chiaki Tanaka, Riki Tesler, David Thivel, Dawn Mahube Tladi, Lenka Tlučáková, Leigh M. Vanderloo, Alun Williams, Stephen Heung Sang Wong, Ching-Lin Wu, Paweł Zembura, and Mark S. Tremblay

Background: The Global Matrix 4.0 on physical activity (PA) for children and adolescents was developed to achieve a comprehensive understanding of the global variation in children’s and adolescents’ (5–17 y) PA, related measures, and key sources of influence. The objectives of this article were (1) to summarize the findings from the Global Matrix 4.0 Report Cards, (2) to compare indicators across countries, and (3) to explore trends related to the Human Development Index and geo-cultural regions. Methods: A total of 57 Report Card teams followed a harmonized process to grade the 10 common PA indicators. An online survey was conducted to collect Report Card Leaders’ top 3 priorities for each PA indicator and their opinions on how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted child and adolescent PA indicators in their country. Results: Overall Physical Activity was the indicator with the lowest global average grade (D), while School and Community and Environment were the indicators with the highest global average grade (C+). An overview of the global situation in terms of surveillance and prevalence is provided for all 10 common PA indicators, followed by priorities and examples to support the development of strategies and policies internationally. Conclusions: The Global Matrix 4.0 represents the largest compilation of children’s and adolescents’ PA indicators to date. While variation in data sources informing the grades across countries was observed, this initiative highlighted low PA levels in children and adolescents globally. Measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, local/international conflicts, climate change, and economic change threaten to worsen this situation.