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


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.


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.


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.


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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Lena Zimmo, Fuad Almudahka, Izzeldin Ibrahim, Mohamed G. Al-kuwari and Abdulaziz Farooq

Purpose: Schools provide opportunities for children to accumulate recommended daily moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA). This study aimed to determine physical activity (PA) across the school day among elementary school children in Qatar. Methods: This cross-sectional study recruited 181 Grade 1 (5.8 ± 0.4 years) and Grade 4 (9.0 ± 0.5 years) children. Participants wore wrist-based accelerometers for 5 days to assess school-based PA. MVPA during physical education, recess, and class time were compared across sex, grade, and body mass index using general linear models. Results: Only 39.0% of this cohort met the recommended 30 min of MVPA during school hours. Fewer girls (23.2%) than boys (58.1%) achieved the school-based PA guidelines (p < .001). The children engaged in 19.0 ± 12.3%, 19.3 ± 8.6%, and 6.2 ± 3.4% of the designated physical education, recess, and class time in MVPA, respectively. Conclusion: Elementary school children in Qatar engage in inadequate MVPA during the school day, especially girls. Enhancing PA opportunities during physical education and recess is crucial.