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Blanca Roman-Viñas, Fabio Zazo, Jesús Martínez-Martínez, Susana Aznar-Laín and Lluís Serra-Majem

Introduction Trend data from the Spanish National Health Survey shows that the proportion of children who are physically active (some kind of leisure time physical activity at least several times per month) range from 45% in 1993 to 59% in 1997 and 56% in 2011. 1 Data collected for the 2016 Report

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Mohamed G. Al-Kuwari, Izzeldin A. Ibrahim, Eiman M. Al Hammadi and John J. Reilly

Background:

The first Qatar Active Healthy Kids (QAHK) Report Card was developed in 2015–2016. It is a synthesis of the available evidence on physical activity in children and youth in the state of Qatar—an assessment of the state of the nation. The report card is important for future physical activity advocacy, policy, and program development.

Methods:

The QAHK Report Card was inspired by the Active Healthy Kids Scotland 2013 Report Card. The methodology used in Scotland’s report card was adapted for Qatar. A Working Group identified indicators for physical activity and related health behaviors, and evaluated the available data on these indicators. The card grades were determined by the percentage of children meeting guidelines or recommendations.

Results:

The 2016 QAHK Report Card consisted of 9 indicators: 6 Physical Activity and Health Behaviors and Outcomes, and 3 Settings and Influences on these health behaviors and outcomes. The indicator National Policy, Strategy, and Investment was assigned the highest grade (B). Four indicators were assigned D grades: Sedentary Behavior, Dietary Habits, Organized Sports Participation, and Family and Peer Influence. Physical Activity and Obesity were both graded F. Two indicators could not be graded due to insufficient data and/or absence of a recommendation: Active and Outdoor Play, and Community and School Influence.

Conclusions:

The QAHK Report Card identified weaknesses and gaps in the evidence on physical activity and health in children and youth in Qatar. The quality of evidence was poor for some indicators, with some data collection methods of limited validity and reliability, or only available for a limited age range, so the grades are best estimates of the current situation in Qatar. Future surveys and research using objective physical activity measures will support the development of a second QAHK Report Card by 2018.

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Taru Manyanga, Nyaradzai E. Munambah, Carol B. Mahachi, Daga Makaza, Tholumusa F. Mlalazi, Vincent Masocha, Paul Makoni, Fortunate Sithole, Bhekuzulu Khumalo, Sipho H. Rutsate and Tonderayi M. Matsungo

involving 49 countries. This paper summarizes results of Zimbabwe’s 2018 Report Card on the physical activity and nutritional status among 5-17 year old children and youth. Methods The 2018 Report Card summarizes data for 10 core physical activity indicators, common to the Global Matrix 3.0 (Overall

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Silvia A. González, Olga L. Sarmiento, Daniel D. Cohen, Diana M. Camargo, Jorge E. Correa, Diana C. Páez and Robinson Ramírez-Vélez

Background:

Physical activity (PA) is central to the global agenda for the prevention on noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). Although 80% of NCDs occur in low-to-middle-income countries, the evidence on PA comes mainly from high-income countries. In this context, the report card for Colombia is an advocacy tool to help in the translation of evidence into concrete actions. The aims of this paper were two-fold: to present the methodology used to develop the first Report Card on Physical Activity in Colombian Children and Youth and to summarize the results.

Methods:

Twelve indicators of PA were graded using numerical grades (5, highest, to 1, lowest) based on data from national surveys and policy documents.

Results:

National policy and obesity indicators were graded “4,” while departmental policy and overweight indicators were graded “3.” Overall PA levels, sports participation, sedentary behaviors and nongovernment initiatives were graded “2,” and school influence was graded “1.” Active transportation, active play, low cardiorespiratory fitness, and family and community influence received an incomplete.

Conclusion:

PA levels are low and sedentary behaviors are high in Colombian children and youth. Although the prevalence of obesity in Colombia is lower compared with other Latin American countries, it is increasing. A rich legal framework and availability of institutional arrangements provide unique opportunities to bridge the gap between knowledge and practice that need to be evaluated.

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Susan A. Carlson, Roxanna Guide, Thomas L. Schmid, Latetia V. Moore, Danielle T. Barradas and Janet E. Fulton

Background:

Street-scale urban design policies are recommended to increase physical activity in communities. Our purpose was to examine U.S. public support for local street-scale urban design features and policies.

Methods:

Analysis is based on a cross-sectional national sample of adults (n = 4682) participating in the 2006 HealthStyles mail survey.

Results:

About 57% of adults rated local street-scale urban design as highly important in determining the amount of physical activity they obtain. Adjusted odds of rating neighborhood features as having high importance were higher in people aged ≥65 years versus those <65 and minority racial/ethnic groups versus non-Hispanic whites. Two-thirds of adults were willing to take civic action to support local street-scale urban design policy. Adjusted odds of being willing to take any action versus none was higher in non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics versus non-Hispanic whites, was higher in those with household incomes ≥$60,000 versus ≤$15,000 per year, and increased as education and perceived importance of neighborhood features increased.

Conclusions:

There are high levels of public support for local street-scale urban design policies; however, demographic differences exist in the level of support. These differences are important considerations for policymakers and for those designing community programs targeting street-scale urban design features and policies.

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Aubrianne E. Rote, Lori A. Klos, Michael J. Brondino, Amy E. Harley and Ann M. Swartz

Background:

Facebook may be a useful tool to provide a social support group to encourage increases in physical activity. This study examines the efficacy of a Facebook social support group to increase steps/day in young women.

Methods:

Female college freshmen (N = 63) were randomized to one of two 8-week interventions: a Facebook Social Support Group (n = 32) or a Standard Walking Intervention (n = 31). Participants in both groups received weekly step goals and tracked steps/day with a pedometer. Women in the Facebook Social Support Group were also enrolled in a Facebook group and asked to post information about their steps/day and provide feedback to one another.

Results:

Women in both intervention arms significantly increased steps/day pre- to postintervention (F (8,425) = 94.43, P < .001). However, women in the Facebook Social Support Group increased steps/day significantly more (F (1,138) = 11.34, P < .001) than women in the Standard Walking Intervention, going from 5295 to 12,472 steps/day.

Conclusions:

These results demonstrate the potential effectiveness of using Facebook to offer a social support group to increase physical activity in young women. Women in the Facebook Social Support Group increased walking by approximately 1.5 miles/day more than women in the Standard Walking Intervention which, if maintained, could have a profound impact on their future health.

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Martyn Standage, Hannah J. Wilkie, Russell Jago, Charlie Foster, Mary A. Goad and Sean P. Cumming

Background:

The Active Healthy Kids 2014 England Report Card aims to provide a systematic assessment of how England is performing in relation to engaging and facilitating physical activity (PA) in children and young people.

Methods:

The systematic methods and processes that underpin the Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card were used and adapted. Data and evidence were consolidated, reviewed by a panel of content experts, and used to inform the assignment of letter grades (A, B, C, D, F) to 9 core indicators related to PA.

Results:

Children’s Overall Physical Activity received a grade of C/D. Active Transportation and Organized Sport Participation received grades of C and C-, respectively. The indicators of School and Community and the Built Environment were graded favorable with grades of A- and B, respectively. Active Play, Sedentary Behaviors, Family and Peers, and Government Strategies and Investments were graded as INC (incomplete) due to a lack of nationally representative data and/or as a result of data not mapping onto the benchmarks used to assign the grades.

Conclusions:

Substantial provision for PA opportunities in England exists. Yet more effort is required to maximize use of these resources to increase PA participation.

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).

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Ralph Maddison, Samantha Marsh, Erica Hinckson, Scott Duncan, Sandra Mandic, Rachael Taylor and Melody Smith

Background:

In this article, we report the grades for the second New Zealand Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth, which represents a synthesis of available New Zealand evidence across 9 core indicators.

Methods:

An expert panel of physical activity (PA) researchers collated and reviewed available nationally representative survey data between March and May 2016. In the absence of new data, (2014–2016) regional level data were used to inform the direction of existing grades. 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:

Overall PA, Active Play, and Government Initiatives were graded B-; Community Environments was graded B; Sport Participation and School Environment received a C+; Sedentary Behaviors and Family/Peer Support were graded C; and Active Travel was graded C-.

Conclusions:

Overall PA participation was satisfactory for young children but not for youth. The grade for PA decreased slightly from the 2014 report card; however, there was an improvement in grades for built and school environments, which may support regional and national-level initiatives for promoting PA.

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Jarmo Liukkonen, Timo Jaakkola, Sami Kokko, Arto Gråstén, Sami Yli-Piipari, Pasi Koski, Jorma Tynjälä, Anne Soini, Timo Ståhl and Tuija Tammelin

The Finnish 2014 Report Card on Physical Activity (PA) for Children and Youth is the first assessment of Finland’s efforts in promoting and facilitating PA opportunities for children and youth using the Active Healthy Kids Canada grading system. The Report Card relies primarily on research findings from 6 Research Institutes, coordinated by the University of Jyväskylä. The Research Work Group convened to evaluate the aggregated evidence and assign grades for each of the 9 PA indicators, following the Canadian Report Card protocol. Grades from A (highest) to F (lowest) varied in Finland as follows: 1) Overall physical activity—fulfillment of recommendations (D), 2) Organized sport participation (C), 3) Active play (D), 4) Active transportation (B), 5) Sedentary behaviors (D), 6) Family and peers (C), 7) School (B), 8) Community and the built environment (B), and 9) Government (B). This comprehensive summary and assessment of indicators related to PA in Finnish children and youth indicates that Finland still has many challenges to promote a physically active life style for youth.