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Kara N. Dentro, Kim Beals, Scott E. Crouter, Joey C. Eisenmann, Thomas L. McKenzie, Russell R. Pate, Brian E. Saelens, Susan B. Sisson, Donna Spruijt-Metz, Melinda S. Sothern and Peter T. Katzmarzyk

Background:

The National Physical Activity Plan Alliance partnered with physical activity experts to develop a report card that provides a comprehensive assessment of physical activity among United States children and youth.

Methods:

The 2014 U.S. Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth includes 10 indicators: overall physical activity levels, sedentary behaviors, active transportation, organized sport participation, active play, health-related fitness, family and peers, school, community and the built environment, and government strategies and investments. Data from nationally representative surveys were used to provide a comprehensive evaluation of the physical activity indicators. The Committee used the best available data source to grade the indicators using a standard rubric.

Results:

Approximately one-quarter of children and youth 6 to 15 years of age were at least moderately active for 60 min/day on at least 5 days per week. The prevalence was lower among youth compared with younger children, resulting in a grade of D- for overall physical activity levels. Five of the remaining 9 indicators received grades ranging from B- to F, whereas there was insufficient data to grade 4 indicators, highlighting the need for more research in some areas.

Conclusions:

Physical activity levels among U.S. children and youth are low and sedentary behavior is high, suggesting that current infrastructure, policies, programs, and investments in support of children’s physical activity are not sufficient.