Released in Adelaide, Australia on November 27, 2018, the Global Matrix 3.0 is the most comprehensive assessment of global variation in child and youth physical activity.

Released on November 27, 2018 in Adelaide, Australia, the Global Matrix 3.0 is the most comprehensive assessment of global variation in child and youth physical activity.

GLOBAL MATRIX 3.0

GLOBAL MATRIX 3.0

The Global Matrix 3.0 on Physical Activity
for Children and Youth

 

Released on November 27, 2018 in Adelaide, Australia at the Movement to Move conference.

49

Countries

6

Continents

490

Grades

Childhood physical inactivity reaches crisis levels around the globe

Report compares 49 countries; says 75% of countries have failing physical activity grades

NOVEMBER 27, 2018 – ADELAIDE, Australia – Children around the world are not moving enough to maintain healthy growth and development, according to a global report released today.

The report by the Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance (AHKGA) compared 49 countries from six continents to assess global trends in childhood physical activity in developed and developing nations, resulting in the “Global Matrix 3.0” comparison of grades.

The report revealed that modern lifestyles – increases in screen time, the growing urbanization of communities and the rise in automation of previously manual tasks – are contributing to a pervasive public health problem that must be recognized as a global priority.

“Global trends, including excessive screen time, are contributing to a generation of inactive children and putting them on a dangerous path,” said Professor Mark Tremblay, President of the AHKGA and Senior Scientist at the CHEO Research Institute in Canada. “We have a collective responsibility to change this because inactive children are at risk for adverse physical, mental, social and cognitive health problems. This generation will face a range of challenges, including the impacts of climate change, increasing globalization, and the consequences of rapid technological change. They will need to become habitually physically active in order to grow into healthy, resilient adults who can survive and thrive in a changing world.”

The AHKGA international comparison involved 517 experts who produced 49 country report cards, grading 10 common indicators related to the physical activity of children and youth. The resulting report examines global patterns, and highlights how our changing world is affecting children’s physical activity levels. Increases in screen time and a growing reliance on technology are taking up crucial time that could be better spent engaged in a wide range of physical activities; and an increased use of motorized transport is changing physical activity levels globally.

“Pushing back against these lifestyle shifts requires social engineering, not just built engineering, and the challenges vary depending on each country’s stage of development,” said Dr. Tremblay. “It will take many facets of society working together to shift behaviours 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 youth overall, including Slovenia, Zimbabwe and Japan, each rely on very different approaches to get kids moving but what is consistent among all of them is that physical activity is driven by pervasive cultural norms. Being active is not just a choice, but a way of life.

  • Slovenia obtained the best grades for Overall Physical Activity (A−), Family and Peers (B+), and Government (A), and received an overall average grade of B.
    • A notable feature in Slovenia is the importance of sport for the culture of this almost 30-year old country as “Slovenes tend to view sports as an effective tool in fostering national identity among citizens and making successful global identity claims.”
  • Zimbabwe reports above-average grades in Overall Physical Activity (C+) and Sedentary Behaviours (B).
    • Overall physical activity is mostly affected by active transportation which, for the majority of the children in Zimbabwe, is a necessity in everyday life.
  • Japan had the best grades for Active Transportation (A−) and Physical Fitness (A), and had no grades lower than C−.
    • Japan has a highly established “walking to school practice” that has been implemented since the School Education Act enforcement order, enacted in 1953. It states that public elementary schools should be located within no more than 4 km, and for public junior high schools no more than 6 km from the student’s home.

“There much we can learn from each other to improve the grades around the world,” said Professor Peter Katzmarzyk, AHKGA Vice-President and Associate Executive Director for Population and Public Health Sciences at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. “Physical inactivity is a global concern and can no longer be ignored. For the good of our children’s health and futures, we need to build physical activity into all societies, and change social norms to get kids moving.”

About the Global Matrix

The global comparisons were led by the Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance (AHKGA; www.activehealthykids.org), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to powering the movement to get kids moving. Each country’s research process to determine grades was based on the framework from the ParticipACTION Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth. Ten common indicators were compared: Overall Physical Activity, Organized Sport and Physical Activity, Active Play, Active Transportation, Sedentary Behavior, Physical Fitness, Family and Peers, School, Community and Environment, and Government. Report Cards from each of the 49 countries, as well as the results of the global comparisons, were presented at the opening plenary of the Movement to Move Conference in Adelaide, Australia and published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health on November 27, 2018. Complete details of the Global Matrix 3.0, each country’s grades, report cards, priorities for action, quotes from country leaders and more are available at www.activehealthykids.org. The “Global Matrix 1.0” (2014, 15 countries) and “Global Matrix 2.0” (2016, 38 countries) findings are also available on the AHKGA website.

The AHKGA is committed to informing, guiding and facilitating solutions to the global childhood inactivity crisis. This Global Matrix 3.0 confirms there are challenges for children, communities and cultures around the world. Identified priorities for action include:

  • Creating a global movement for comprehensive school physical activity programs that support and allow ALL children and youth to meet the physical activity guidelines through a variety of strategic interventions (e.g., active recess options, physical activity breaks, compulsory physical education).
  • Creating a global culture of active kids / active people in all settings, prioritizing active transportation above other modes of transportation.
  • Investing in comprehensive social interventions and research to improve implementation and uptake strategies to manage recreational screen time among children and youth.
  • Developing a standardized global surveillance system of the physical activity and related indicators among children and youth to fill the current gaps, especially in low- and medium-income countries.

Further information on solutions to “improve the grade” is available at:

www.activehealthykids.org
www.participaction.com/en-ca
www.isca-web.org/english
www.who.int/ncds/prevention/physical-activity/en

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Mark Tremblay
President, AHKGA
mtremblay@cheo.on.ca

Aynsley Morris
Director of Communications, CHEO Research Institute
amorris@cheo.on.ca
+1-613-737-7600 x4144

 

Please see the Global Matrix 3.0 tab for a complete table of grades from all countries.

Search the grades by country or continent. View the grading rubric to learn more about how grades are assigned.

 

Country Continent HDI Overall Physical Activity Organized Sport and Physical Activity Active Play Active Transportation Sedentary Behavior
Zimbabwe Africa Low 17C+ 15B 20D+ 13A- 15B
Wales Europe Very High 20D+ 17C+ 19C- 20D+ 24F
Venezuela South America High 21D 21D 26INC 16B- 26INC
Uruguay South America High 21D 24F 26INC 18C 19C-
United States North America Very High 22D- 18C 26INC 22D- 21D
United Arab Emirates Asia Very High 24F 26INC 26INC 26INC 19C-
Thailand Asia High 22D- 19C- 24F 18C 22D-
Sweden Europe Very High 20D+ 14B+ 26INC 18C 17C+
Spain Europe Very High 21D 15B 19C- 16B- 14B+
South Korea Asia Very High 24F 18C 26INC 14B+ 21D
South Africa Africa Medium 18C 21D 26INC 18C 26INC
Slovenia Europe Very High 13A- 17C+ 21D 18C 14B+
Scotland Europe Very High 24F 15B 26INC 18C 24F
Qatar Asia Very High 21D 20D+ 26INC 27N/A 20D+
Portugal Europe Very High 21D 16B- 26INC 19C- 19C-
Poland Europe Very High 22D- 21D 26INC 18C 21D
Nigeria Africa Low 18C 19C- 18C 15B 16B-
New Zealand Oceania Very High 22D- 15B 17C+ 19C- 21D
Netherlands Europe Very High 18C 15B 15B 16B- 19C-
Nepal Asia Medium 20D+ 26INC 26INC 13A- 14B+
Mexico North America High 20D+ 18C 26INC 17C+ 22D-
Lithuania Europe Very High 19C- 18C 26INC 19C- 19C-
Lebanon Asia High 21D 24F 26INC 21D 19C-
Jersey Europe Very High 22D- 26INC 26INC 20D+ 18C
Japan Asia Very High 26INC 16B- 26INC 13A- 19C-
India Asia Medium 21D 26INC 19C- 16B- 19C-
Hong Kong Asia Very High 19C- 18C 26INC 14B+ 19C-
Guernsey Europe Very High 21D 17C+ 26INC 21D 18C
Ghana Africa Medium 18C 17C+ 16B- 17C+ 26INC
Germany Europe Very High 22D- 15B 22D- 19C- 22D-
France Europe Very High 21D 19C- 26INC 19C- 22D-
Finland Europe Very High 21D 17C+ 18C 14B+ 22D-
Ethiopia Africa Low 21D 18C 15B 18C 24F
Estonia Europe Very High 22D- 18C 24F 21D 24F
England Europe Very High 19C- 20D+ 26INC 19C- 20D+
Ecuador South America High 21D 26INC 26INC 19C- 18C
Denmark Europe Very High 22D- 13A- 26INC 14B+ 20D+
Czech Republic Europe Very High 21D 16B- 22D- 17C+ 22D-
Colombia South America High 20D+ 18C 26INC 15B 20D+
Chinese Taipei Asia Very High 24F 22D- 26INC 19C- 19C-
China Asia High 24F 22D- 20D+ 17C+ 24F
Chile South America Very High 22D- 22D- 26INC 24F 19C-
Canada North America Very High 20D+ 14B+ 21D 22D- 20D+
Bulgaria Europe High 20D+ 17C+ 17C+ 16B- 21D
Brazil South America High 21D 17C+ 20D+ 18C 22D-
Botswana Africa Medium 26INC 26INC 22D- 18C 16B-
Belgium (Flanders) Europe Very High 24F 15B 26INC 17C+ 18C
Bangladesh Asia Medium 19C- 26INC 26INC 19C- 13A-
Australia Oceania Very High 22D- 16B- 26INC 20D+ 22D-
Country Continent HDI Overall Physical Activity Organized Sport and Physical Activity Active Play Active Transportation Sedentary Behavior

 

Country Continent HDI Physical Fitness Family and Peers School Community and Environment Government Average
Zimbabwe Africa Low 26INC 26INC 18C 21D 19C- 18C
Wales Europe Very High 26INC 21D 26INC 26INC 17C+ 20D+
Venezuela South America High 26INC 26INC 26INC 22D- 24F 21D
Uruguay South America High 19C- 26INC 19C- 26INC 21D 21D
United States North America Very High 19C- 26INC 22D- 18C 26INC 21D
United Arab Emirates Asia Very High 26INC 26INC 22D- 26INC 14B+ 20D+
Thailand Asia High 26INC 15B 15B 16B- 14B+ 19C-
Sweden Europe Very High 26INC 26INC 17C+ 12A 15B 17C+
Spain Europe Very High 26INC 26INC 17C+ 26INC 26INC 17C+
South Korea Asia Very High 20D+ 26INC 20D+ 26INC 21D 20D+
South Africa Africa Medium 26INC 19C- 22D- 19C- 18C 20D+
Slovenia Europe Very High 13A- 14B+ 12A 15B 12A 15B
Scotland Europe Very High 26INC 26INC 26INC 16B- 18C 20D+
Qatar Asia Very High 26INC 26INC 18C 26INC 14B+ 19C-
Portugal Europe Very High 18C 18C 12A 15B 15B 17C+
Poland Europe Very High 19C- 19C- 15B 18C 17C+ 19C-
Nigeria Africa Low 26INC 26INC 19C- 26INC 15B 18C
New Zealand Oceania Very High 26INC 19C- 16B- 15B 14B+ 18C
Netherlands Europe Very High 26INC 26INC 18C 26INC 26INC 17C+
Nepal Asia Medium 26INC 12A 26INC 19C- 26INC 16B-
Mexico North America High 26INC 26INC 20D+ 20D+ 18C 20D+
Lithuania Europe Very High 17C+ 21D 17C+ 18C 18C 19C-
Lebanon Asia High 26INC 26INC 21D 26INC 17C+ 21D
Jersey Europe Very High 21D 18C 16B- 18C 21D 20D+
Japan Asia Very High 12A 19C- 14B+ 16B- 15B 16B-
India Asia Medium 24F 21D 26INC 21D 21D 21D
Hong Kong Asia Very High 21D 22D- 18C 15B 18C 19C-
Guernsey Europe Very High 26INC 26INC 26INC 26INC 21D 20D+
Ghana Africa Medium 26INC 24F 21D 20D+ 21D 20D+
Germany Europe Very High 26INC 16B- 14B+ 14B+ 26INC 18C
France Europe Very High 16B- 26INC 15B 26INC 18C 19C-
Finland Europe Very High 18C 16B- 12A 14B+ 13A- 17C+
Ethiopia Africa Low 26INC 24F 21D 24F 21D 21D
Estonia Europe Very High 26INC 21D 17C+ 15B 15B 20D+
England Europe Very High 19C- 26INC 14B+ 18C 26INC 19C-
Ecuador South America High 26INC 24F 26INC 20D+ 26INC 21D
Denmark Europe Very High 26INC 26INC 13A- 14B+ 13A- 16B-
Czech Republic Europe Very High 17C+ 17C+ 14B+ 15B 17C+ 18C
Colombia South America High 22D- 26INC 21D 16B- 15B 19C-
Chinese Taipei Asia Very High 16B- 26INC 14B+ 14B+ 14B+ 18C
China Asia High 21D 20D+ 20D+ 24F 24F 22D-
Chile South America Very High 21D 24F 21D 15B 16B- 21D
Canada North America Very High 21D 17C+ 16B- 14B+ 17C+ 19C-
Bulgaria Europe High 26INC 21D 18C 18C 26INC 19C-
Brazil South America High 21D 19C- 18C 19C- 20D+ 20D+
Botswana Africa Medium 26INC 26INC 19C- 26INC 18C 19C-
Belgium (Flanders) Europe Very High 26INC 17C+ 16B- 15B 15B 18C
Bangladesh Asia Medium 26INC 26INC 26INC 26INC 19C- 18C
Australia Oceania Very High 20D+ 17C+ 14B+ 13A- 21D 19C-
Country Continent HDI Physical Fitness Family and Peers School Community and Environment Government Average

Click on a flag to view a country page.

Australia

Bangladesh

Belgium (Flanders)

Botswana

Brazil

Bulgaria

Canada

Chile

China

Chinese Taipei

Colombia

Czech Republic

Denmark

Ecuador

England

Estonia

Ethiopia

Finland

France

Germany

Ghana

Guernsey

Hong Kong

India

Japan

Jersey

Lebanon

Lithuania

Mexico

Nepal

Netherlands

New Zealand

Nigeria

Poland

Portugal

Qatar

Scotland

Slovenia

South Africa

South Korea

Spain

Sweden

Thailand

United Arab Emirates

United States

Uruguay

Venezuela

Wales

Zimbabwe

Use @activehealthykids.org and link to www.activehealthykids.org to share the report. Please use the following hashtag with all your communications: #globalmatrix

Infographics are also available and free to use:

  • “facts” infographic – pdf or png
  • “global findings” infographic – pdf or png
  • World maps by indicator – zip

Slide deck downloads:

Country report card abstracts:

  • The booklet of country report card abstracts from the Movement to Move conference is available for download.

Global Matrix 3.0: International Results from 49 Countries

This is a reproduction of Dr. Mark Tremblay’s presentation in Adelaide, Australia on November 27, 2018 when the Global Matrix 3.0 was released.

Global Matrix 3.0: Report Card Grades on the Physical Activity of Children and Youth from 10 Countries with High Human Development Index

This is a reproduction of Silvia González’s presentation in Adelaide, Australia on November 27, 2018 when the Global Matrix 3.0 was released. The title of Silvia’s presentation is, “Report Card Grades on the Physical Activity of Children and Youth from 10 Countries with High Human Development Index,” which summarizes a paper published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health.

Global Matrix 3.0: Indicators of Physical Activity among Children and Youth in Nine Countries with Low-to-Medium Human Development Indices

The video below is a reproduction of Taru Manyanga’s presentation in Adelaide, Australia on November 27, 2018 when the Global Matrix 3.0 was released. The title of Taru’s presentation is, “Indicators of Physical Activity among Children and Youth in Nine Countries with Low-to-Medium Human Development Indices,” which summarizes a paper published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health.

Global Matrix 3.0: Indicators of Physical Activity among Children and Youth in 30 Countries with Very High Human Development Indices

The video below is a reproduction of Salomé Aubert’s presentation in Adelaide, Australia on November 27, 2018 when the Global Matrix 3.0 was released. The title of Salomé’s presentation is, “Report Card Grades on the Physical Activity of Children and Youth Comparing 30 Very High Human Development Index Countries,” which summarizes a paper published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health.