Executive Summary of the Czech Republic’s 2018 Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth

Czech Republic Report Card leader Dr. Aleš Gába is lead author on a paper, “Executive summary of the Czech Republic’s 2018 Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth,” that was recently published ahead of print in Acta Gymnica. A summary of the paper is below.


Background: Regular physical activity (PA) is associated with numerous health benefits. However, the decreasing level of PA and increasing screen-time among Czech children and youth has been well documented in the last two decades. To build effective intervention and prevention programs, it is necessary to review all available sources of evidence. Objective: The aim is to summarize the results of the first Czech Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth based on a synthesis of the most recently available evidence. Methods: The Report Card included 10 indicators. To inform the indicator grades, a multi-level search strategy was used to find all relevant sources that provide published/unpublished data collected from 2013 through 2018. The data were synthesised, and a set of standardized benchmarks was used to assign grades. Final grades were assigned upon consensus of all members of the national research work group. Results: We retrieved 724 records from database searches and 81 records identified through other sources. A total of 40 records were identified as eligible for data extraction. Overall PA in Czech children and youth was observed to be insufficient to support fitness and health, with high rates of excessive screen-time and low numbers of children and youth spending time in unstructured/unorganized play. On the other hand, some grades indicated promising foundations to build on in future. They are represented, for instance, by a relatively high number of children and youth participating in organized sports and/or PA programs, or generally PA-friendly setting (e.g., family and peers, school, and built environment). Conclusions: There is ample evidence that Czech children and youth are insufficiently active, and the prevalence of physical inactivity and excessive screen-time has increased in both sexes during the last two decades. Thus, PA in childhood and adolescence should be promoted intensively and effective intervention and prevention programs are needed.

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