Background:

The 2016 United States (U.S.) Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth provides a comprehensive evaluation of physical activity levels and factors influencing physical activity among children and youth.

Methods:

The report card includes 10 indicators: Overall Physical Activity, Sedentary Behavior, Active Transportation, Organized Sport Participation, Active Play, Health-related Fitness, Family and Peers, School, Community and the Built Environment, and Government Strategies and Investments. Nationally representative data were used to evaluate the indicators using a standard grading rubric.

Results:

Sufficient data were available to assign grades to 7 of the indicators, and these ranged from B- for Community and the Built Environment to F for Active Transportation. Overall Physical Activity received a grade of D- due to the low prevalence of meeting physical activity guidelines. A grade of D was assigned to Health-related Fitness, reflecting the low prevalence of meeting cardiorespiratory fitness standards. Disparities across age, gender, racial/ethnic and socioeconomic groups were observed for several indicators.

Conclusions:

Continued poor grades suggest that additional work is required to provide opportunities for U.S. children to be physically active. The observed disparities indicate that special attention should be given to girls, minorities, and those from lower socioeconomic groups when implementing intervention strategies.

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Katzmarzyk, Denstel, and Staiano are with Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, LA. Beals is with the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA. Bolling is with the American Academy of Pediatrics, Elk Grove Village, IL. Wright is with SHAPE America, Reston, VA. Crouter is with the Dept of Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sport Studies, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN. McKenzie is with the School of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA. Pate is with the Dept of Exercise Science, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC. Saelens is with the Dept of Pediatrics, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Stanish is with the Dept of Health and Exercise Sciences, University of Massachusetts, Boston. Sisson is with the Dept of Nutritional Sciences, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK. Katzmarzyk (Peter.Katzmarzyk@pbrc.edu) is corresponding author.