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Open access

Anne I. Wijtzes, Maïté Verloigne, Alexandre Mouton, Marc Cloes, Karin A.A. De Ridder, Greet Cardon and Jan Seghers

Background:

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.

Methods:

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.

Results:

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.

Conclusions:

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

Open access

Nelson Nardo Jr., Diego Augusto Santos Silva, Gerson Luis de Moraes Ferrari, Edio Luiz Petroski, Ricardo Lucas Pacheco, Priscila Custódio Martins, Luis Carlos Oliveira, Timóteo Leandro Araújo, Anselmo Alexandre Mendes, Samara Pereira Brito Lazarin, Tamires Leal Cordeiro dos Santos and Victor Matsudo

Background:

Very few studies have comprehensively analyzed the physical activity of children and adolescents in Brazil. The purpose of this article is to show the methodology and summarize findings from the first Brazilian Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth.

Methods:

Three Brazilian research institutions coordinated the activities to develop the Brazilian 2016 Report Card. The data available were collected independently and then synthesized by the Research Work Group using the grade system developed for the First Global Matrix released in 2014, which included 9 indicators of physical activity. Where possible, grades were assigned based on the percentage of children and youth meeting each indicator: A is 81% to 100%; B is 61% to 80%; C is 41% to 60%; D is 21% to 40%; F is 0% to 20%; INC is incomplete data.

Results:

Among the 9 indicators, only 5 had sufficient data for grading. Overall Physical Activity received a C- grade, Active Transportation received a C+ grade, Sedentary Behavior received a D+ grade, and Government Strategies and Investments received a D grade.

Conclusions:

The low grades observed highlight the need for continued efforts aimed at improving physical activity in Brazilian children.

Open access

Joel D. Barnes, Christine Cameron, Valerie Carson, Jean-Philippe Chaput, Guy E.J. Faulkner, Katherine Janson, Ian Janssen, Roger Kramers, Allana G. LeBlanc, John C. Spence and Mark S. Tremblay

Background:

The ParticipACTION Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth is the most comprehensive assessment of child and youth physical activity in Canada and provides an update or “state of the nation” that assesses how Canada is doing at promoting and facilitating physical activity opportunities for children and youth. The purpose of this paper is to summarize the results of the 2016 ParticipACTION Report Card.

Methods:

Twelve physical activity indicators were graded by a committee of experts using a process that was informed by the best available evidence. Sources included national surveys, peer-reviewed literature, and gray literature such as government and nongovernment reports and online content.

Results:

Grades were assigned to Daily Behaviors (Overall Physical Activity: D-; Organized Sport and Physical Activity Participation: B; Active Play: D+; Active Transportation: D; Physical Literacy: D+; Sleep: B; Sedentary Behaviors: F), Settings and Sources of Influence (Family and Peers: C+; School: B; Community and Environment: A-), and Strategies and Investments (Government: B-; Nongovernment: A-).

Conclusions:

Similar to previous years of the Report Card, Canada generally received good grades for indicators relating to investment, infrastructure, strategies, policies, and programming, and poor grades for behavioral indicators (eg, Overall Physical Activity, Sedentary Behaviors).

Open access

Nicolas Aguilar-Farias, Andrea Cortinez-O’Ryan, Kabir P. Sadarangani, Astrid Von Oetinger, Jaime Leppe, Macarena Valladares, Teresa Balboa-Castillo, Carolina Cobos, Nicolas Lemus, Magdalena Walbaum and Carlos Cristi-Montero

Background:

The 2016 Chilean Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth is a review of the evidence across indicators of behaviors, settings, and sources of influence associated with physical activity (PA) of Chilean children and youth.

Methods:

A Research Work Group reviewed available evidence from publications, surveys, government documents and datasets to assign a grade for 11 indicators for PA behavior based on the percentage of compliance for defined benchmarks. Grades were defined as follows: A, 81% to 100% of children accomplishing a given benchmark; B, 61% to 80%; C, 41% to 60%; D, 21% to 40%; F, 0% to 20%; INC, incomplete data available to assign score.

Results:

Grades assigned were for i) ‘Behaviors that contribute to overall PA levels’: Overall PA, F; Organized Sport Participation, D; Active Play, INC; and Active Transportation, C-; ii) ‘Factors associated with cardiometabolic risk’: Sedentary Behavior, D; Overweight and Obesity, F; Fitness, F; and iii) ‘Factors that influence PA’: Family and Peers, D; School, D; Community and Built Environment, C; Government Strategies and Investments, C.

Conclusions:

Chile faces a major challenge as most PA indicators scored low. There were clear research and information gaps that need to be filled with the implementation of consistent and regular data collection methods.

Open access

Silvia A. González, Maria A Castiblanco, Luis F. Arias-Gómez, Andrea Martinez-Ospina, Daniel D. Cohen, Gustavo A. Holguin, Adriana Almanza, Diana Marina Camargo Lemos, Jorge Enrique Correa-Bautista, Iván D. Escobar, Johnattan García, Rocio Gámez, Mauricio Garzon, Yaneth Herazo Beltrán, Hernan Hurtado, Oscar Lozano, Diana C. Páez, Robinson Ramírez-Vélez, Nubia Ruiz, Gustavo Tovar and Olga L. Sarmiento

Background:

Physical activity (PA) is vital to the holistic development of young people. Regular participation in PA is associated with substantial benefits for health, cognitive function, and social inclusion. Recognizing the potential of PA in the context of the current peace process in Colombia, the purpose of this article is to present the methodology and results of Colombia’s second Report Card on PA for children and youth.

Methods:

A group of experts on PA graded 14 PA indicators based on data from national surveys and policy documents.

Results:

National and departmental policy indicators received a grade of B, while organized sport participation, overweight, obesity, community influence, and nongovernment initiatives indicators received a grade of C. Overall PA levels, active transportation, sedentary behaviors, and school influence received a grade of D. Active play, low physical fitness, and family influence received an Incomplete grade.

Conclusions:

PA levels are low and sedentary behaviors are high in Colombian children and youth, with notable geographic differences. A broad policy framework translated into specific actions could provide unique opportunities to bridge the gap between knowledge and practice, and contribute to social integration goals in a postconflict setting.

Open access

Lisbeth Runge Larsen, Jens Troelsen, Kasper Lund Kirkegaard, Søren Riiskjær, Rikke Krølner, Lars Østergaard, Peter Lund Kristensen, Niels Christian Møller, Bjørn Friis Neerfeldt Christensen, Jens-Ole Jensen, Charlotte Østergård and Thomas Skovgaard

Background:

The first Danish Report Card on Physical Activity (PA) for Children and Youth describes Denmark’s efforts in promoting and facilitating PA and PA opportunities for children and youth.

Methods:

The report card relies primarily on a synthesis of the best available research and policy strategies identified by the Report Card Research Committee consisting of a wide presentation of researchers and experts within PA health behaviors and policy development. The work was coordinated by Research and Innovation Centre for Human Movement and Learning situated at the University of Southern Denmark and the University College Lillebaelt. Nine PA indicators were graded using the Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card development process.

Results:

Grades from A (highest) to F (lowest) varied in Denmark as follows: 1) Overall Physical Activity (D+), 2) Organized Sport Participation (A), 3) Active Play (INC; incomplete), 4) Active Transportation (B), 5) Sedentary Behaviors (INC), 6) Family and Peers (INC), 7) School (B), 8) Community and the Built Environment (B+), and 9) Government strategies and investments (A-).

Conclusions:

A large proportion of children in Denmark do not meet the recommendations for PA despite the favorable investments and intensions from the government to create good facilities and promote PA.

Open access

Hannah Wilkie, Martyn Standage, Lauren Sherar, Sean Cumming, Caley Parnell, Adrian Davis, Charlie Foster and Russ Jago

Background:

Regular physical activity improves physical and mental health, yet children’s physical activity levels were low in England’s 2014 Report Card. Within this paper, we update the 2014 Report Card to assess current information for the 9 indicators of physical activity.

Methods:

A search for nationally representative data on 9 indicators of physical activity was conducted and the data were assessed by an expert panel. The panel assigned grades [ie, A, B, C, D, F, or INC (incomplete)] to each indicator based on whether children across England were achieving specific benchmarks. The 2016 Report Card was produced and disseminated.

Results:

The following grades were awarded: Overall Physical Activity Levels: D-; Organized Sport Participation: D; Active Play: INC; Active Transportation: C-; Sedentary Behaviors: INC; Family and Peers: INC; School: B+; Community and the Built Environment: B; Government Strategies and Investment: INC.

Conclusions:

The grades have not improved since the 2014 Report Card and several gaps in the literature are still present. While children’s physical activity levels remain low alongside competing sedentary choices, further national plans and investment with local actions are urgently needed to promote physical activity especially via active play, active transport, and family support.

Open access

Helena Kruusamäe, Merike Kull, Kerli Mooses, Eva-Maria Riso and Jaak Jürimäe

Background:

The 2016 Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth, the first of its kind, aims to set baseline physical activity (PA) indicators using the Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance grading system.

Methods:

A research work group analyzed and selected data for the grade assignment meeting (GAM). During the GAM, 17 leading researchers and policy experts from Estonia assessed the data and assigned grades for each of the 9 PA indicators. In addition, recommendations were provided for further actions to improve the grades.

Results:

Grades from A (highest) to F (lowest) were assigned as follows: 1) Overall PA (F); 2) Organized Sport (C); 3) Active Play [incomplete data (INC)]; 4) Active Transportation (INC); 5) Sedentary Behaviors (F); 6) Family and Peers (C); 7) School (C); 8) Community and the Built Environment (B); and 9) Government (C). An indicator was marked as incomplete (INC) when there was a lack of representative quality data.

Conclusions:

Evidence suggests that PA levels of Estonian children remain very low, despite moderately supportive social, environmental, and regulatory factors. There are many challenges to overcome in supporting and promoting PA of children and youth (eg, cross-sectional cooperation, implementing interventions, changing social norms, empowerment of parents and educational institutions).

Open access

Tuija H. Tammelin, Annaleena Aira, Matti Hakamäki, Pauliina Husu, Jouni Kallio, Sami Kokko, Kaarlo Laine, Kati Lehtonen, Kaisu Mononen, Sanna Palomäki, Timo Ståhl, Arja Sääkslahti, Jorma Tynjälä and Katariina Kämppi

Background:

Finland’s 2016 Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth gathers and translates research results and assesses the status and promotion of physical activity (PA) among Finnish children and youth less than 18 years of age. This article summarizes the results and provides grades for 9 indicators.

Methods:

The working group evaluated the evidence and assigned grades of A (highest, 81% to 100%), B, C, D, or F (lowest, 0% to 20%) for 9 PA indicators using the Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card development process.

Results:

The grades varied in Finland as follows: 1) Overall PA/fulfillment of recommendations = D, 2) Organized Sport Participation = C, 3) Active Play = C, 4) Active Transportation = B, 5) Sedentary Behaviors = D, 6) Family and Peers = C, 7) School = B, 8) Community and the Built Environment = B, 9) Government = B.

Conclusions:

Despite good policies and programs to promote PA in Finland, children and youth overall PA levels are low, whereas their time spent sedentary is high. More effective interventions, operation models, concrete tools as well as environmental solutions are needed to support the work toward more physically active childhood and youth.

Open access

Reginald Ocansey, Richmond Aryeetey, Seidu Sofo, Alex Nazzar, Margaret Delali, Prince Pambo, Vida Nyawornota, John Nartey and Rachel Sarkwa

Background:

Currently, there is limited evidence on estimates for physical activity (PA) behavior and sedentary behavior (SB) in Ghana. This report card (RC) is intended to increase awareness and sensitivity about issues surrounding PA and SB in Ghana.

Methods:

Data were collected from peer-reviewed literature, graduate students’ theses, physical education and sports documents, and a survey of opinions of stakeholders covering the 10 key RC indicators and benchmarks. The principal investigator harmonized all grades. A consensus meeting of the RC team was held to assign the final grades.

Results:

School and Community grades declined from a D in 2014 to an F in 2016. SB declined from B to D. Family and Active Play were not graded in 2014 and now received an F and a B, respectively. Family and Built Environment were graded F, Active Transportation received a C, and Government and Overall PA were graded D.

Conclusions:

A conscious national investment effort can increase overall PA among children.