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Mark S. Tremblay, Joel D. Barnes and Jennifer Cowie Bonne

For 20 years Active Healthy Kids Canada (AHKC) has worked to inspire the country to engage all children and youth in physical activity (PA). The primary vehicle to achieve this is the AHKC Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth, which has been released annually since 2005. Using 10 years of experience with this knowledge translation and synthesis mechanism, this paper aggregates and consolidates diverse evidence demonstrating the impact of the Report Card and related knowledge translation activities. Over the years many evaluations, consultations, assessments, and surveys have helped inform changes in the Report Card to improve its impact. Guided by a logic model, the various assessments have traversed areas related to distribution and reach, meeting stakeholder needs, use of the Report Card, its influence on policy, and advancing the mission of AHKC. In the past 10 years, the Report Card has achieved > 1 billion media impressions, distributed > 120,000 printed copies and > 200,000 electronic copies, and benefited from a collective ad value > $10 million. The Report Card has been replicated in 14 countries, 2 provinces, 1 state and 1 city. AHKC has received consistent positive feedback from stakeholders and endusers, who reported that the Report Card has been used for public awareness/education campaigns and advocacy strategies, to strengthen partnerships, to inform research and program design, and to advance and adjust policies and strategies. Collectively, the evidence suggests that the Report Card has been successful at powering the movement to get kids moving, and in achieving demonstrable success on immediate and intermediate outcomes, although the long-term goal of improving the PA of Canadian children and youth remains to be realized.

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Dale W. Esliger, Jennifer L. Copeland, Joel D. Barnes and Mark S. Tremblay

The unequivocal link between physical activity and health has prompted researchers and public health officials to search for valid, reliable, and logistically feasible tools to measure and quantify free-living physical activity. Accelerometers hold promise in this regard. Recent technological advances have led to decreases in both the size and cost of accelerometers while increasing functionality (e.g., greater memory, waterproofing). A lack of common data reduction and standardized reporting procedures dramatically limit their potential, however. The purpose of this article is to expand on the utility of accelerometers for measuring free-living physical activity. A detailed example profile of physical activity is presented to highlight the potential richness of accelerometer data. Specific recommendations for optimizing and standardizing the use of accelerometer data are provided with support from specific examples. This descriptive article is intended to advance and ignite scholarly dialogue and debate regarding accelerometer data capture, reduction, analysis, and reporting.

Open access

Mark S. Tremblay, Joel D. Barnes, Silvia A. González, Peter T. Katzmarzyk, Vincent O. Onywera, John J. Reilly, Grant R. Tomkinson and the Global Matrix 2.0 Research Team

The Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance organized the concurrent preparation of Report Cards on the physical activity of children and youth in 38 countries from 6 continents (representing 60% of the world’s population). Nine common indicators were used (Overall Physical Activity, Organized Sport Participation, Active Play, Active Transportation, Sedentary Behavior, Family and Peers, School, Community and the Built Environment, and Government Strategies and Investments), and all Report Cards were generated through a harmonized development process and a standardized grading framework (from A = excellent, to F = failing). The 38 Report Cards were presented at the International Congress on Physical Activity and Public Health in Bangkok, Thailand on November 16, 2016. The consolidated findings are summarized in the form of a Global Matrix demonstrating substantial variation in grades both within and across countries. Countries that lead in certain indicators often lag in others. Average grades for both Overall Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior around the world are D (low/poor). In contrast, the average grade for indicators related to supports for physical activity was C. Lower-income countries generally had better grades on Overall Physical Activity, Active Transportation, and Sedentary Behaviors compared with higher-income countries, yet worse grades for supports from Family and Peers, Community and the Built Environment, and Government Strategies and Investments. Average grades for all indicators combined were highest (best) in Denmark, Slovenia, and the Netherlands. Many surveillance and research gaps were apparent, especially for the Active Play and Family and Peers indicators. International cooperation and cross-fertilization is encouraged to address existing challenges, understand underlying determinants, conceive innovative solutions, and mitigate the global childhood inactivity crisis. The paradox of higher physical activity and lower sedentary behavior in countries reporting poorer infrastructure, and lower physical activity and higher sedentary behavior in countries reporting better infrastructure, suggests that autonomy to play, travel, or chore requirements and/or fewer attractive sedentary pursuits, rather than infrastructure and structured activities, may facilitate higher levels of physical activity.

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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.

Open access

Joel D. Barnes, Christine Cameron, Valerie Carson, Jean-Philippe Chaput, Rachel C. Colley, Guy E.J. Faulkner, Ian Janssen, Roger Kramers, Travis J. Saunders, John C. Spence, Patricia Tucker, Leigh M. Vanderloo and Mark S. Tremblay

Open access

Taru Manyanga, Joel D. Barnes, Chalchisa Abdeta, Ade F. Adeniyi, Jasmin Bhawra, Catherine E. Draper, Tarun R. Katapally, Asaduzzaman Khan, Estelle Lambert, Daga Makaza, Vida K. Nyawornota, Reginald Ocansey, Narayan Subedi, Riaz Uddin, Dawn Tladi and Mark S. Tremblay

Background: This study compares results of physical activity report cards from 9 countries with low to medium human development indices, participating in the Global Matrix 3.0 initiative. Methods: Country-specific report cards were informed by relevant data and government policy documents, reporting on 10 core indicators of physical activity for children and youth. Data were synthesized by report card working groups following a harmonized process. Grade assignments for each indicator utilized a standard grading rubric. Indicators were grouped into one of 2 categories: daily behaviors and settings and sources of influence. Descriptive statistics (average grades) were computed after letter grades were converted into interval variables. Spearman’s rank correlation coefficients were calculated for all correlation analyses. Results: Mean grades for daily behaviors were higher (C) than those for settings and sources of influence (D+). Twenty-nine out of the possible 90 grades were assigned an incomplete. There were moderate to strong positive and negative relationships between different global indices and overall physical activity, organized sport and physical activity, active play, family, community and environment, and government. Conclusions: Findings demonstrate an urgent need for high-quality data at the country level in order to better characterize the physical activity levels of children and youth in countries with low to medium human development indices.

Open access

Joel D. Barnes, Christine Cameron, Valerie Carson, Jean-Philippe Chaput, Guy E.J. Faulkner, Katherine Janson, Ian Janssen, Roger Kramers, Allana G. LeBlanc, John C. Spence and Mark S. Tremblay

Background:

The ParticipACTION Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth is the most comprehensive assessment of child and youth physical activity in Canada and provides an update or “state of the nation” that assesses how Canada is doing at promoting and facilitating physical activity opportunities for children and youth. The purpose of this paper is to summarize the results of the 2016 ParticipACTION Report Card.

Methods:

Twelve physical activity indicators were graded by a committee of experts using a process that was informed by the best available evidence. Sources included national surveys, peer-reviewed literature, and gray literature such as government and nongovernment reports and online content.

Results:

Grades were assigned to Daily Behaviors (Overall Physical Activity: D-; Organized Sport and Physical Activity Participation: B; Active Play: D+; Active Transportation: D; Physical Literacy: D+; Sleep: B; Sedentary Behaviors: F), Settings and Sources of Influence (Family and Peers: C+; School: B; Community and Environment: A-), and Strategies and Investments (Government: B-; Nongovernment: A-).

Conclusions:

Similar to previous years of the Report Card, Canada generally received good grades for indicators relating to investment, infrastructure, strategies, policies, and programming, and poor grades for behavioral indicators (eg, Overall Physical Activity, Sedentary Behaviors).

Open access

Salomé Aubert, Joel D. Barnes, Megan L. Forse, Evan Turner, Silvia A. González, Jakub Kalinowski, Peter T. Katzmarzyk, Eun-Young Lee, Reginald Ocansey, John J. Reilly, Natasha Schranz, Leigh M. Vanderloo and Mark S. Tremblay

Background: In response to growing concerns over high levels of physical inactivity among young people, the Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance developed a series of national Report Cards on physical activity for children and youth to advocate for the promotion of physical activity. This article provides updated evidence of the impact of the Report Cards on powering the movement to get children and youth moving globally. Methods: This assessment was performed using quantitative and qualitative sources of information, including surveys, peer-reviewed publications, e-mails, gray literature, and other sources. Results: Although it is still too early to observe a positive change in physical activity levels among children and youth, an impact on raising awareness and capacity building in the national and international scientific community, disseminating information to the general population and stakeholders, and on powering the movement to get kids moving has been observed. Conclusions: It is hoped that the Report Card activities will initiate a measurable shift in the physical activity levels of children and contribute to achieving the 4 strategic objectives of the World Health Organization Global Action Plan as follows: creating an active society, creating active environments, creating active lives, and creating active systems.

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Claire E. Francis, Patricia E. Longmuir, Charles Boyer, Lars Bo Andersen, Joel D. Barnes, Elena Boiarskaia, John Cairney, Avery D. Faigenbaum, Guy Faulkner, Beth P. Hands, John A. Hay, Ian Janssen, Peter T. Katzmarzyk, Han C. G. Kemper, Duane Knudson, Meghann Lloyd, Thomas L. McKenzie, Tim S. Olds, Jennifer M. Sacheck, Roy J. Shephard, Weimo Zhu and Mark S. Tremblay

Background:

The Canadian Assessment of Physical Literacy (CAPL) was conceptualized as a tool to monitor children’s physical literacy. The original model (fitness, activity behavior, knowledge, motor skill) required revision and relative weights for calculating/interpreting scores were required.

Methods:

Nineteen childhood physical activity/fitness experts completed a 3-round Delphi process. Round 1 was open-ended questions. Subsequent rounds rated statements using a 5-point Likert scale. Recommendations were sought regarding protocol inclusion, relative importance within composite scores and score interpretation.

Results:

Delphi participant consensus was achieved for 64% (47/73) of statement topics, including a revised conceptual model, specific assessment protocols, the importance of longitudinal tracking, and the relative importance of individual protocols and composite scores. Divergent opinions remained regarding the inclusion of sleep time, assessment/scoring of the obstacle course assessment of motor skill, and the need for an overall physical literacy classification.

Conclusions:

The revised CAPL model (overlapping domains of physical competence, motivation, and knowledge, encompassed by daily behavior) is appropriate for monitoring the physical literacy of children aged 8 to 12 years. Objectively measured domains (daily behavior, physical competence) have higher relative importance. The interpretation of CAPL results should be reevaluated as more data become available.

Open access

Silvia A. González, Joel D. Barnes, Patrick Abi Nader, Dolores Susana Andrade Tenesaca, Javier Brazo-Sayavera, Karla I. Galaviz, Marianella Herrera-Cuenca, Piyawat Katewongsa, Juan López-Taylor, Yang Liu, Bilyana Mileva, Angélica María Ochoa Avilés, Diego Augusto Santos Silva, Pairoj Saonuam and Mark S. Tremblay

Background: The Global Matrix 3.0 brings together the Report Card grades for 10 physical activity indicators for children and youth from 49 countries. This study describes and compares the Global Matrix 3.0 findings among 10 countries with high Human Development Index. Methods: Report Cards on physical activity indicators were developed by each country following a harmonized process. Countries informed their Report Cards with the best and most recent evidence available. Indicators were graded using a common grading rubric and benchmarks established by the Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance. A database of grades from the countries was compiled, and letter grades were converted to numerical equivalents. Descriptive statistics and scores for groups of indicators were calculated, and correlation analyses were conducted. Results: Grades for the 10 countries clustered around “D” ranging from “F” to “B+.” Active Transportation had the highest average grade (“C”), whereas Overall Physical Activity had the lowest average grade (“D-”). Low grades were observed for both behavioral and sources of influence indicators. Conclusions: In the context of social and economical changes of high- Human Development Index countries, urgent actions to increase physical activity among children and youth are required. Surveillance and monitoring efforts are required to fill research gaps.