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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.

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Amy Eyler, Ross Brownson, Tom Schmid and Michael Pratt

With increasing evidence of the detrimental effects of physical inactivity, there is interest in enhancing research on policies that may influence physical activity in communities. Given the potential policy impact, a framework that organized and conceptualized policy interventions and priorities for public health efforts to promote physical activity was developed. In addition, the Physical Activity Policy Research Network (PAPRN) was formed as a way to operationalize the contents of the framework. Recommendations for future work in this area include enhancing transdisciplinary collaborations, raising the priority of policy evaluation, studying policies at all levels, and emphasizing dissemination of findings.

Open access

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.

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Casey E. Gray, Joel D. Barnes, Jennifer Cowie Bonne, Christine Cameron, Jean-Philippe Chaput, Guy Faulkner, Ian Janssen, Peter T. Katzmarzyk, Angela M. Kolen, Stephen R. Manske, Art Salmon, John C. Spence, Brian W. Timmons and Mark S. Tremblay

Background:

The Active Healthy Kids Canada (AHKC) Report Card consolidates and translates research and assesses how Canada is being responsible in providing physical activity opportunities for children (3- to 11-years-old) and youth (12- to 17-years-old). The primary aim of this article is to summarize the results of the 2014 AHKC 10th Anniversary Report Card.

Methods:

Ten physical activity indicators were graded using the AHKC Report Card development process, which includes a synthesis of the best available research, surveillance, policy and practice findings, and expert consensus.

Results:

Grades assigned were for: ‘Behaviors that Contribute to Overall Physical Activity Levels’ (Overall Physical Activity Levels, D-; Organized Sport Participation, C+; Active Play, INCOMPLETE; Active Transportation, D; Sedentary Behaviors, F), ‘Settings and Sources of Influence’ (Family and Peers, C; School, C+; and Community and the Built Environment, B+), and ‘Strategies and Investments’ (Government Strategies and Investments, C; and Non-Government Strategies and Investments, A-).

Conclusions:

Despite good availability of policies, programs, and infrastructure, the overall physical activity levels of Canadian children and youth remain low while sedentary behavior levels remain high. As with many nations, there is room for improvement in most physical activity behaviors and some sources of influence.

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Natasha Schranz, Tim Olds, Dylan Cliff, Melanie Davern, Lina Engelen, Billie Giles-Corti, Sjaan Gomersall, Louise Hardy, Kylie Hesketh, Andrew Hills, David Lubans, Doune Macdonald, Rona Macniven, Philip Morgan, Tony Okely, Anne-Maree Parish, Ron Plotnikoff, Trevor Shilton, Leon Straker, Anna Timperio, Stewart Trost, Stewart Vella, Jenny Ziviani and Grant Tomkinson

Background:

Like many other countries, Australia is facing an inactivity epidemic. The purpose of the Australian 2014 Physical Activity Report Card initiative was to assess the behaviors, settings, and sources of influences and strategies and investments associated with the physical activity levels of Australian children and youth.

Methods:

A Research Working Group (RWG) drawn from experts around Australia collaborated to determine key indicators, assess available datasets, and the metrics which should be used to inform grades for each indicator and factors to consider when weighting the data. The RWG then met to evaluate the synthesized data to assign a grade to each indicator.

Results:

Overall Physical Activity Levels were assigned a grade of D-. Other physical activity behaviors were also graded as less than average (D to D-), while Organized Sport and Physical Activity Participation was assigned a grade of B-. The nation performed better for settings and sources of influence and Government Strategies and Investments (A- to a C). Four incompletes were assigned due to a lack of representative quality data.

Conclusions:

Evidence suggests that physical activity levels of Australian children remain very low, despite moderately supportive social, environmental and regulatory environments. There are clear gaps in the research which need to be filled and consistent data collection methods need to be put into place.

Open access

Natasha K. Schranz, Timothy Olds, Roslyn Boyd, John Evans, Sjaan R. Gomersall, Louise Hardy, Kylie Hesketh, David R. Lubans, Nicola D. Ridgers, Leon Straker, Stewart Vella, Jenny Ziviani and Grant R. Tomkinson

Background:

Two years on from the inaugural Active Healthy Kids Australia (AHKA) Physical Activity Report Card, there has been little to no change with the majority of Australian children still insufficiently active.

Methods:

The 2016 AHKA Report Card was developed using the best available national- and state-based physical activity data, which were evaluated by the AHKA Research Working Group using predetermined weighting criteria and benchmarks to assign letter grades to the 12 Report Card indicators.

Results:

In comparison with 2014, Overall Physical Activity Levels was again assigned a D- with Organized Sport and Physical Activity Participation increasing to a B (was B-) and Active Transport declining to a C- (was C). The settings and sources of influence again performed well (A- to a C+), however Government Strategies and Investments saw a decline (C+ to a D). The traits associated with physical activity were also graded poorly (C- to a D).

Conclusions:

Australian youth are insufficiently active and engage in high levels of screen-based sedentary behaviors. While a range of support structures exist, Australia lacks an overarching National Physical Activity Plan that would unify the country and encourage the cultural shift needed to face the inactivity crisis head on.

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John J. Reilly, Smita Dick, Geraldine McNeill and Mark S. Tremblay

Background:

The Active Healthy Kids Scotland Report Card aims to consolidate existing evidence, facilitate international comparisons, encourage more evidence-informed physical activity and health policy, and improve surveillance of physical activity.

Methods:

Application of the Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card process and methodology to Scotland, adapted to Scottish circumstances and availability of data.

Results:

The Active Healthy Kids Scotland Report Card 2013 consists of indicators of 7 Health Behaviors and Outcomes and 3 Influences on Health Behaviors and Outcomes. Grades of F were assigned to Overall Physical Activity, Sedentary Behavior (recreational screen time), and Obesity Prevalence. A C was assigned to Active Transportation and a D- was assigned to Diet. Two indicators, Active and Outdoor Play and Organized Sport Participation, could not be graded. Among the Influences, Family Influence received a D, while Perceived Safety, Access, and Availability of Spaces for Physical Activity and the National Policy Environment graded more favorably with a B.

Conclusions:

The Active Healthy Kids Canada process and methodology was readily generalizable to Scotland. The report card illustrated low habitual physical activity and extremely high levels of screen-based sedentary behavior, and highlighted several opportunities for improved physical activity surveillance and promotion strategies.

Open access

Yang Liu, Yan Tang, Zhen-Bo Cao, Pei-Jie Chen, Jia-Lin Zhang, Zheng Zhu, Jie Zhuang, Yang Yang and Yue-Ying Hu

Background:

Internationally comparable evidence is important to advocate for young people’s physical activity. The aim of this article is to present the inaugural Shanghai (China) Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth.

Methods:

Since no national data are available, the working group developed the survey questionnaire and carried out the school surveys for students (n = 71,404), parents (n = 70,346), and school administrators and teachers (n = 1398). The grades of 9 report card indicators were assigned in accordance with the survey results against a defined benchmark: 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%.

Results:

The 9 indicators were graded as follows: Overall Physical Activity Levels (F), Organized Sport Participation (F), Active Play (D-), Active Transportation (C-), Sedentary Behavior (F), Family and Peers (B), School (B+), Community and the Built Environment (D+), and Government (D).

Conclusions:

Levels of physical activity and sedentary behavior were low and below the respective recommended guidelines. Interventions and policies at the community level should be encouraged to promote physical activity and reduce sedentary behavior. Future national surveys should be encouraged to strengthen Shanghai’s Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth.

Open access

Marianella Herrera-Cuenca, Betty Méndez-Perez, Vanessa Castro Morales, Joana Martín-Rojo, Bianca Tristan, Amilid Torín Bandy, Maritza Landaeta-Jiménez, Coromoto Macías-Tomei and Mercedes López-Blanco

Background:

The Venezuelan Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth is the first assessment of information related to physical activity in Venezuela. It provides a compilation of existing information throughout the country and assesses how well it is doing at promoting opportunities for children and youth. The aim of this article is to summarize the information available.

Methods:

Thirteen physical activity indicators were graded by a committee of experts using letters A to F (A, the highest, to F, the lowest) based on national surveys, peer review studies, and policy documents.

Results:

Some indicators report incomplete information or a lack of data. Overweight and Obesity were classified as A; Body Composition and Nongovernmental Organization Policies as B; Municipal Level Policies as C; and Overall Physical Activity Levels and National Level Policies as D.

Conclusions:

63% of children and youth have low physical activity levels. Venezuela needs to undergo a process of articulation between the several existing initiatives, and for said purposes, political will and a methodological effort is required. Investments, infrastructure, and opportunities will be more equal for all children and youth if more cooperation between institutions is developed and communication strategies are applied.

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.