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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

Christine Delisle Nyström, Christel Larsson, Bettina Ehrenblad, Hanna Eneroth, Ulf Eriksson, Marita Friberg, Maria Hagströmer, Anna Karin Lindroos, John J. Reilly and Marie Löf

Background:

The 2016 Swedish Report Card on Physical Activity (PA) for Children and Youth is a unique compilation of the existing physical and health related data in Sweden. The aim of this article is to summarize the procedure and results from the report card.

Methods:

Nationally representative surveys and individual studies published between 2005–2015 were included. Eleven PA and health indicators were graded using the Active Healthy Kids Canada grading system. Grades were assigned based on the percentage of children/youth meeting a defined benchmark (A: 81% to 100%, B: 61% to 80%, C: 41% to 60%, D: 21% to 40%, F: 0% to 20%, or incomplete (INC).

Results:

The assigned grades were Overall Physical Activity, D; Organized Sport Participation, B+; Active Play, INC; Active Transportation, C+; Sedentary Behaviors, C; Family and Peers, INC; School, C+; Community and the Built Environment, B; Government Strategies and Investments, B; Diet, C-; and Obesity, D.

Conclusions:

The included data provides some support that overall PA is too low and sedentary behavior is too high for almost all age groups in Sweden, even with the many national policies as well as an environment that is favorable to the promotion of PA.

Open access

Razinah Sharif, Kar Hau Chong, Nur Hadiyani Zakaria, Min Li Ong, John J. Reilly, Jyh Eiin Wong, Hazizi Abu Saad and Bee Koon Poh

Background:

The 2016 Malaysia Active Healthy Kids Report Card aims to collect, assess, and grade current and comprehensive data on physical activity (PA) and associated factors in Malaysian children and adolescents aged 5 to 17 years.

Methods:

This report card was developed following the Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card protocol. The Research Working Group identified the core matrices, assessed the key data sources, and evaluated the evidence gathered for grade assignments. A grade was assigned to each indicator by comparing the best available evidence against relevant benchmark using a standardized grading scheme.

Results:

Overall Physical Activity, Active Transportation, and Sedentary Behavior were assigned the D grade. The lowest grade of F was assigned to Diet, while School and Government Strategies and Investments were graded higher with a B. Five indicators were assigned INC (incomplete) due to a lack of representative data.

Conclusions:

The report card demonstrates that Malaysian children and adolescents are engaging in low levels of PA and active commuting, high levels of screen time, and have extremely low compliance with dietary recommendations. More efforts are needed to address the root causes of physical inactivity while increasing the opportunities for children and adolescents to be more physically active.

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

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

Mouza Al Zaabi, Syed Mahboob Shah, Mohamud Sheek-Hussein, Abdishakur Abdulle, Abdulla Al Junaibi and Tom Loney

Background:

The Active Healthy Kids 2016 United Arab Emirates (UAE) Report Card provides a systematic evaluation of how the UAE is performing in supporting and engaging physical activity (PA) in children and adolescents.

Methods:

The Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance framework and standardized set of procedures were used to perform the systematic assessment of PA in UAE youth and children. Indicator grades were based on the proportion of children and youth achieving a defined benchmark: A = 81% to 100%; B = 61% to 80%; C = 41% to 60%; D = 21% to 40%; F = 0% to 20%; INC = incomplete data.

Results:

Overall Physical Activity Level and Active Transportation both received a grade of D-/F-. Sedentary Behavior and Family and Peers both received a C- minus grade and School was graded D. Minus grades indicate PA disparities related to age, gender, nationality, socioeconomic status, and geographic location. Government Strategies and Investments received a B+ grade. Sport Participation, Active Play, and Community and the Built Environment were graded INC due to a lack of nationally representative data for all 7 emirates.

Conclusions:

The majority of UAE children are not achieving the daily recommended level of PA. The UAE leadership has invested significant resources into improving PA through school- and community-based PA interventions; however, inter- and intraemirate population-based strategies remain fragmented.

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.

Full access

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.

Full access

Ralph Maddison, Leila Pfaeffli Dale, Samantha Marsh, Allana G. LeBlanc and Melody Oliver

Background:

This brief report provides grades for the 2014 New Zealand Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth. The Report Card presents a review of current evidence across 9 key indicators, including physical activity (PA), organized sport and free play, sedentary behavior, and community and government initiatives across New Zealand.

Methods:

Nationally representative survey data were collated by researchers at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, between June and December 2013. The grade for each indicator is based on the percentage of children and youth meeting a defined benchmark: A is 81%−100%; B is 61%−80%; C is 41%−60%, D is 21%−40%; F is 0%−20%; INC is incomplete data.

Results:

Overall PA received a score of B, as did Organized Sport Participation and Active Play. PA participation in School Environment scored slightly less with a score of B-. Sedentary Behaviors, Family and Peers, and Community and Built Environment scored a grade of C. Active transportation received a score of C-. An inconclusive grade was given for the Government indicator due to a lack of established international criteria for assessment.

Conclusions:

PA participation in New Zealand is satisfactory, but could improve. However, sedentary behavior is high. Of particular concern is the age-related decline in PA participation, particularly among adolescent females, and the increase in sedentary behavior.

Open access

Jasmin Bhawra, Priyanka Chopra, Ranjani Harish, Anjana Mohan, Krishnaveni V. Ghattu, Kumaran Kalyanaraman and Tarun R. Katapally

Introduction Research demonstrates that almost half of children and youth in India do not meet recommended guidelines for physical activity and sedentary behaviour. 1 The 2016 India Report Card identified several gaps in evidence, including nationally representative data on active living and