Global Matrix 2.0: Report Card Grades on the Physical Activity of Children and Youth Comparing 38 Countries

Mark S. Tremblay, Joel Barnes, Silvia Gonzales, Peter Katzmarzyk, Vincent Onywera, John J Reilly, Grant R Tomkinson, Lisbeth Runge Larsen

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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.
TidsskriftJournal of Physical Activity & Health
Sider (fra-til)343-366
StatusUdgivet - 16 nov. 2016


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