Ralph Maddison, Samantha Marsh, Erica Hinckson, Scott Duncan, Sandra Mandic, Rachael Taylor and Melody Smith
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.
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.
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-.
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.
Scott Duncan, Kate White, Suzanne Mavoa, Tom Stewart, Erica Hinckson and Grant Schofield
The distance between home and school is the most consistent predictor of active transport in youth: the closer an individual lives to school, the more likely they are to use active transport. While this suggests that it is preferable to live as close to school as possible, the limited physical activity accumulated during short trips may not offer substantial benefits to active transporters.
The current study investigated the predicted physical activity benefits associated with a range of home-school distances in 595 young people aged 5 to 16 years (Years 1 to 11). Physical activity was measured using sealed pedometers over 7 days. Participants’ home addresses and usual transport mode to and from school were collected via a questionnaire completed by parents (Years 1 to 6) and participants (Years 7 to 11).
A nonlinear relationship between predicted weekday activity and distance was detected, such that the high probability of active transport at short distances was offset by the low physical activity associated with walking short distances.
A distance of approximately 2 km was associated with the best physical activity outcomes related to active transport (9% to 15% increase on weekdays). These findings have potential implications for future interventions and for planning residential developments or facilities.
Melody Smith, Erika Ikeda, Erica Hinckson, Scott Duncan, Ralph Maddison, Kim Meredith-Jones, Caroline Walker and Sandra Mandic