Results From Kenya’s 2016 Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health

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Vincent O. Onywera
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Stella K. Muthuri
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Sylvester Hayker
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Lucy-Joy M. Wachira
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Florence Kyallo
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Robert O. Mang’eni
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Peter Bukhala
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Caleb Mireri
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Background:

Kenya’s 2016 report card aimed to highlight the health and well-being of Kenyan children and youth using the best available evidence on the physical activity of Kenyan children and youth. The report pointed at areas where Kenya was succeeding and areas where more action is required.

Methods:

Inclusive analyses of available data sources on the core indicators related to physical activity and body weights of Kenyan children and youth (5 to 17 years) were conducted. These were assigned grades based on a set of specific criteria.

Results:

Results show that Active Play, Active Transportation, Overweight and Obesity, and Sedentary Behavior were favorable with a grade of B. Overall Physical Activity, Organized Sport Participation, and School (infrastructure, policies, and programs) each received a grade of C, while Family and Peers, Government and Nongovernment organizations, as well as the Community and the Built Environment were assigned grade D.

Conclusions:

Over 72% of Kenyan children and youth use active transportation to and from school and in their daily lives. Although majority of the children and youth have normal body weight, there is need to ensure that they meet and maintain the physical activity levels recommended by the World Health Organization. More needs to be done especially in relation to the governmental and nongovernmental organizations, organized sports participation, as well as involvement of family and peers in promoting healthy active lifestyles among Kenyan children and youth. More representative data for all indicators are required in Kenya.

Onywera is with the Dept of Recreation Management and Exercise Science, Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya. Muthuri is with the Population Dynamics and Reproductive Health Program, African Population and Health Research Center, Nairobi, Kenya. Hayker is with the Dept of Leisure and Event Management, Technical University of Kenya, Nairobi, Kenya. Wachira is with the Dept of Physical and Health Education, Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya. Kyallo is with the Dept of Food Science and Technology, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Nairobi, Kenya. Mang’eni is with the College of Health Sciences, Moi University, Eldoret, Kenya. Bukhala is with the Dept of Health Promotion and Sports Science, Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, Kakamega, Kenya. Mireri is with the Dept of Environmental Planning and Management, Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya. Onywera (vonywera@mail.com) is corresponding author.

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