Background:

Physical activity (PA) levels are a key performance indicator for policy documents in Ireland. The first Ireland Report Card on Physical Activity in Children and Youth aims to set a robust baseline for future surveillance of indicators related to PA in children and youth.

Methods:

Data collected between 2003−2010 on more than 35,000 7- to 18-year-old children and youth were used and graded using a standardized grading system for 10 indicators.

Results:

Grades assigned for the indicators were as follows: overall physical activity levels, D-; sedentary behavior (TV viewing), C-; organized sport participation, C-: physical education, D-; active play, inconclusive (INC); active transportation, D; school, C-, community and the built environment, B; family, INC; and government, INC.

Conclusions:

PA recommendations exist in Ireland but this Report Card has shown that participation is still low. A number of promising policies, programs and services are in place but these require thorough evaluation and adequate resourcing. Agreement and implementation of a common framework for the systematic surveillance of indictors related to PA of children and youth is necessary to monitor change over time and ensure the impact of promising work is captured.

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Harrington (corresponding author: dh204@le.ac.uk) is with the University of Leicester CUKI. Belton and Woods are with Dublin City University. Coppinger is with the Cork Institute of Technology. Cullen is with the Nutrition and Health Foundation. Donnelly and Dowd are with the University of Limerick. Keating is with the Institute of Public Health Ireland. Layte is with The Economic and Social Research Institute. M. Murphy is with the University of Ulster. N. Murphy is with the Waterford Institute of Technology. Murtagh is with Mary Immaculate College.