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Open access

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

Chiaki Tanaka, Shigeho Tanaka, Shigeru Inoue, Motohiko Miyachi, Koya Suzuki, and John J. Reilly

Background:

The Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth aims to consolidate existing evidence, encourage greater evidence-informed physical activity, and improve surveillance of physical activity.

Methods:

The Japan report card followed the methodology of the Canadian and Scottish report cards, but was adapted to reflect the Japanese context. Nationally representative data were used to score each of the respective indicators.

Results:

The 2016 Japan Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth consists of Health Behaviors and Outcomes (7 indicators), and Influences on Health Behaviors (4 indicators). Three Health Behaviors and Outcomes received C grades (Participation in Sport; Sedentary Behavior; Recreational Screen Time; Physical Fitness), while 2 indicators could not be graded (Overall Physical Activity, and Active Play). The indicators Active Transportation (B) and Weight Status were favorable (A). In the Influences domain, Family Influence and Community and the Built Environment were graded as D, while School and Government Strategies and Investments were favorable (B).

Conclusions:

The Japan report card illustrated some favorable health behaviors, health outcomes, and influences. There is a need for more evidence especially on overall physical activity levels, active play, and community and the built environment.

Restricted access

Validation of the Physical Activity Questions in the World Health Organization Health Behavior in School-Aged Children Survey Using Accelerometer Data in Japanese Children and Adolescents

Chiaki Tanaka, Akira Kyan, Minoru Takakura, Tim Olds, Natasha Schranz, and Shigeho Tanaka

Background: An international physical activity (PA) questionnaire is beneficial to make cross-country comparisons among children and adolescents. This study assesses the validity of the PA questions in the World Health Organization Health Behavior in School-Aged Children (WHO HBSC) survey in Japanese children and adolescents. Methods: Participants were fifth- to sixth-grade Japanese primary school students (67 students aged 10.8 [0.5] y) and first- to third-grade junior high school students (108 students aged 13.0 [0.7] y). The Japanese version of the PA questions in the WHO HBSC (WHO HBSC-J) was used. To assess the validity of the PA questions, the authors used a partial correlation adjusted for sex, age, and relative weight between the answers to the survey questions and objectively measured moderate to vigorous PA (MVPA) by an accelerometer. Results: A significant positive correlation was found between accelerometer-measured MVPA and the number of reported days with at least 60 minutes/day of MVPA in primary school students (r = .39, P = .002) and junior high school students (r = .32, P < .001). Conclusion: The HBSC-J has moderate validity for evaluating MVPA in Japanese primary school and junior high school students.

Open access

Recent Secular Trends in Child and Adolescent Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior Internationally: Analyses of Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance Global Matrices 1.0 to 4.0

John J. Reilly, Joel Barnes, Silvia Gonzalez, Wendy Y. Huang, Taru Manyanga, Chiaki Tanaka, and Mark S. Tremblay

Background: We examined recent global secular trends in 5 indicators of child and adolescent physical activity and sedentary behavior (Overall Physical Activity, Organized Sport and Physical Activity, Active Play, Active Transportation, and Sedentary Behavior) and 4 influences on these (Family and Peers, School, Community and Environment, and Government). Methods: Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance letter grades (A+ to F) were assigned numbers from 15 to 2, with 0 assigned for missing/incomplete grades. Trends from Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance Global Matrices 1.0 (2014) to 4.0 (2022) were analyzed using linear mixed-effects models with level of economic development and gender inequity considered as potential moderators. Results: Report card grades were generally relatively stable. Trends generally did not differ significantly by level of economic development (except for Active Transportation and Active Play), but gender inequality did significantly moderate trends for most of the indicators, with higher gender inequality associated with more adverse changes in grades. The number of “incomplete” grades decreased over time, but this did not reach statistical significance. Conclusions: While trends varied within and between countries, physical activity and sedentary behaviors, and the influences on these behaviors globally, were relatively stable over the past decade or so, albeit at undesirable levels.

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.