Child physical inactivity reaches crisis levels worldwide


Infographic for the Global Matrix 3.0: What do global comparisons show and what can we learn from successful countries? Credit: Global Alliance of Active Healthy Kids

Children around the world are not moving enough to maintain healthy growth and development, according to a global report released today.

The Global Active Alliance for Healthy Children (AHKGA) report compared 49 countries from six continents to assess global trends in physical activity in children in developed and developing countries, resulting in a comparison of Global Matrix 3.0 scores.

The report found that modern lifestyles – increases in screen time, increasing urbanization of communities and increased automation of previous manual tasks – are contributing to a widespread public health problem that must be recognized as a global priority.

"Global trends, including excessive time on the screen, are contributing to a generation of inactive children and putting them on a dangerous path," said Professor Mark Tremblay, president of AHKGA, a senior scientist at the CHEO Research Institute in Canada and a professor of the University. of Ottawa. "We have a collective responsibility to change this because inactive children are at risk of adverse physical, mental, social and cognitive health problems. This generation will face a number of challenges, including the impacts of climate change, growing globalization and the consequences of They will need to become physically physically active to become healthy, resilient adults who can survive and thrive in a changing world. "

The international comparison of the AHKGA involved 517 experts who produced 49 national reports, classifying 10 common indicators related to the physical activity of children and young people. The resulting report examines global patterns and highlights how our changing world is affecting children's physical activity levels. Increased screen time and increasing dependence on technology are occupying a crucial time that can be best employed in a wide range of physical activities; and an increase in the use of motorized transport is changing the levels of physical activity globally.

Infographic of the Global Matrix 3.0 Facts: What are we, as we did, what are the common indicators? Credit: Global Alliance of Active Healthy Kids

"The push against these lifestyle changes requires social engineering, not just engineered engineering, and the challenges vary depending on the stage of development of each country," Dr. Tremblay said. "It will take many facets of society working together to change behaviors to preserve and promote our children's right to play and be active. We hope this report will be a call to action for societies around the world."

Learning from each other

Countries with the most active children and young people, including Slovenia, Zimbabwe and Japan, rely on very different approaches to make children progress, but what is consistent among them is that physical activity is driven by diffuse cultural norms . Being active is not just a choice but a way of life.

* Slovenia scored the highest scores for General (A-), Family and Peer (B +) and Government (A) and received a general average score of B.

A notable feature in Slovenia is the importance of sport to this country's culture of almost 30 years since "Slovenes tend to see sport as an effective tool to promote national identity among citizens and make global identity claims well- successful ".

* Zimbabwe reports above average scores on General Physical Activity (C +) and Sedentary Behaviors (B).

General physical activity is mainly affected by active transportation which, for most children in Zimbabwe, is a necessity in everyday life.

* Japan had the best grades in Active Transportation (A-) and Physical Fitness (A) and had no grades below C-.

Japan has a highly established "walk-to-school" practice that has been implemented since the Order of Implementation of the School Education Act, promulgated in 1953. It states that public schools should be located in no more than 4 km and for schools public juniors more than 6 km from the student's house.

"There is a lot we can learn from each other to improve grades around the world," said Professor Peter Katzmarzyk, vice president of AHKGA and Associate Executive Director of Population Sciences and Public Health at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. "Physical inactivity is a global concern and can no longer be ignored. For the sake of the health and future of our children, we need to build physical activity in all societies and change social norms for children to move."

Explore more:
First report on the state of the nation of Canada on the physical literacy of children

Provided by:
Children's Hospital of the Eastern Ontario Research Institute


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