Released on November 26, 2016, the Global Matrix 2.0 is a comprehensive assessment of global variation in child and youth physical activity.

Released on November 26, 2016, the Global Matrix 2.0 is a comprehensive assessment of global variation in child and youth physical activity.

GLOBAL MATRIX 2.0

GLOBAL MATRIX 2.0

The Global Matrix 2.0 on Physical Activity
for Children and Youth

 

Released on November 16, 2016 in Bangkok, Thailand at the 6th International Congress on Physical Activity and Public Health.

38

Countries

6

Continents

342

Grades

Comparisons Across 38 Countries from 6 Continents Confirm Global Childhood Inactivity Crisis and Offer Insights for Improvement

Ottawa, ON, Canada – November 16, 2016 For the first time, harmonized child and youth physical activity indicators across 38 countries from six continents were compared to seek solutions to increase childhood physical activity globally. The global comparisons were led by Dr. Mark Tremblay, Chair of the Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance and Director of the Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute in Canada.

Key global findings include:

  • Average grades for both Overall Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour around the world are “D” (low/poor).
  • Countries with the most active children and youth overall, including Slovenia, New Zealand and Zimbabwe, rely on very different approaches to get kids moving.  What is consistent between 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.
  • Lower income countries generally have better grades on active behaviours compared to higher income countries, yet worse grades for related strategies, supports and investments. Fewer attractive sedentary pursuits and increased autonomy to play and roam outdoors may be as important as infrastructure and structured activities to facilitate higher levels of childhood physical activity.
  • Grades were generally lower in countries in Asia, North America and South America than countries in Africa, Europe and Oceania
  • Key grade comparisons include:
    • Overall Physical Activity – Slovenia leads with an A-; Belgium, Chile, China, Estonia, Qatar, Scotland and United Arab Emirates lag with an F
    • Sedentary Behaviours – Slovenia leads with a B+; Canada, China, Estonia, South Korea, Nigeria, Scotland and South Africa lag with an F
    • Organized Sport Participation – Denmark leads with an A; China and Mozambique lag with an F
    • Active Transportation – Netherlands and Zimbabwe lead with an A and A-; United Arab Emirates and United States lag with an F
    • Active Play – Ghana, Kenya and Netherlands lead with a B; Thailand lags with an F
    • Family and Peers – China, the Netherlands and Thailand lead with a B; Ghana lags with an F, though many countries had inadequate data to grade this indicator
    • School – Slovenia leads with an A; Mexico lags with a D-
    • Community and the Built Environment – Netherlands leads with an A and Canada with an A-; Ghana, Mozambique and Zimbabwe lag with an F
    • Government Strategies and Investments – Denmark leads with an A-; Mozambique lags with an F

“Automation, mechanization, urbanization, and digitization have reduced physical activity levels globally,” said Tremblay. “Global efforts to manage these trends are essential and extend beyond creating policies, strategies, facilities and programs to include the preservation and promotion of physical and social habitats where being physically active year round, through outdoor play, transportation, recreation and sport, are the preferred and normative standard, not the exception. This is the contemporary global challenge for all countries.”

“Countries with the most active children and youth overall, including Slovenia, New Zealand and Zimbabwe, rely on very different approaches to get kids to move more,” added Tremblay. “But, what is consistent between 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.”

More on the global comparisons

Report Cards from each of the 38 countries, as well as the results of the global comparisons, were presented at the opening plenary of the International Congress on Physical Activity and Public Health in Bangkok, Thailand and published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health on November 16, 2016.

An interactive map with all country grades, report cards, and related details is available at www.activehealthykids.org. For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact:

Professor Mark Tremblay

Director of Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research
Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute
Tel: 613-737-7600 x4114
E-mail: mtremblay@cheo.on.ca (preferred)

Search the grades by country or continent.

Country Continent HDI Overall Physical Activity Organized Sport and Physical Activity Active Play Active Transportation Sedentary Behavior
Zimbabwe Africa 0,00 16C+ 14B 19D+ 12A- 14B
Wales Europe 0,00 21D- 17C 17C 17C 21D-
Venezuela South America 0,00 20D 23INC 23INC 23INC 21D/F
United States North America 0,00 21D- 18C- 23INC 22F 21D-
United Arab Emirates Asia 0,00 22D-/F- 23INC 23INC 22D-/F- 18C-
Thailand Asia 0,00 21D- 17C 22F 14B 21D-
Sweden Europe 0,00 20D 13B+ 23INC 16C+ 17C
Spain Europe 0,00 21D- 14B 16C+ 17C 20D
South Korea Asia 0,00 21D- 18C- 23INC 16C+ 22F
South Africa Africa 0,00 17C 17C 23INC 17C 22F
Slovenia Europe 0,00 12A- 15B- 20D 17C 13B+
Scotland Europe 0,00 22F 23INC 23INC 17C 22F
Qatar Asia 0,00 22F 20D 23INC 23INC 20D
Portugal Europe 0,00 20D 14B 20D 17C 20D
Poland Europe 0,00 20D 20D 23INC 17C 20D
Nigeria Africa 0,00 17C 23INC 17C 14B 22F
New Zealand Oceania 0,00 15B- 16C+ 15B- 17C 17C
Netherlands Europe 0,00 20D 14B 14B 11A 17C
Mozambique Africa 17C 22F 20D 17C 23INC
Mexico North America 0,00 17C 20D 21D- 17C 20D
Malaysia Asia 20D 23INC 23INC 20D 20D
Kenya Africa 17C 17C 14B 14B 14B
Japan Asia 0,00 23INC 17C 23INC 14B 17C
Ireland Europe 20D 17C-/C+ 23INC 20D 18C-
India Asia 0,00 18C- 23INC 23INC 17C 17C
Hong Kong Asia 0,00 20D 18C- 23INC 14B 17C
Ghana Africa 0,00 20D 17C 14B 17C 20D
Finland Europe 0,00 20D 17C 17C 14B 20D
Estonia Europe 0,00 22F 17C 23INC 23INC 22F
England Europe 0,00 21D- 20D 23INC 18C- 23INC
Denmark Europe 0,00 19D+ 11A 23INC 14B 23INC
Colombia South America 0,00 20D 17C 23INC 20D 20D
China Asia 0,00 22F 22F 21D- 18C- 22F
Chile South America 0,00 22F 20D 23INC 18C- 20D
Canada North America 0,00 21D- 14B 19D+ 20D 22F
Brazil South America 0,00 18C- 23INC 23INC 16C+ 19D+
Belgium (Flanders) Europe 0,00 21F+ 18C- 16C+ 18C- 21D-
Australia Oceania 0,00 21D- 14B 23INC 18C- 21D-
Country Continent HDI Overall Physical Activity Organized Sport and Physical Activity Active Play Active Transportation Sedentary Behavior

 

Country Continent HDI Family and Peers School Community and Environment Government
Zimbabwe Africa Low 23INC 20D 22F 20D
Wales Europe Very High 19D+ 14B 17C 15B-
Venezuela South America High 23INC 23INC 23INC 20D
United States North America Very High 23INC 19D+ 15B- 23INC
United Arab Emirates Asia Very High 18C- 20D 23INC 13B+
Thailand Asia High 14B 17C 17C 17C
Sweden Europe Very High 23INC 16C+ 14B 14B
Spain Europe Very High 23INC 17C 23INC 23INC
South Korea Asia Very High 23INC 20D 23INC 17C
South Africa Africa Medium 18C- 20D 18C- 14B
Slovenia Europe Very High 23INC 11A 23INC 13B+
Scotland Europe Very High 21D- 24 14B 14B
Qatar Asia Very High 20D 23INC 23INC 14B
Portugal Europe Very High 17C 14B 20D 17C
Poland Europe Very High 17C 14B 17C 17C
Nigeria Africa Low 23INC 18C- 23INC 14B
New Zealand Oceania Very High 17C 16C+ 14B 15B-
Netherlands Europe Very High 14B 17C 11A 23INC
Mozambique Africa 23INC 20D 22F 22F
Mexico North America High 23INC 21D- 20D 17C
Malaysia Asia 23INC 14B 23INC 14B
Kenya Africa 20D 17C 20D 17C
Japan Asia Very High 20D 14B 20D 14B
Ireland Europe 23INC 20D 13B+ 23INC
India Asia Medium 23INC 23INC 23INC 20D
Hong Kong Asia Very High 20D 17C 14B 23INC
Ghana Africa Medium 22F 20D 22F 20D
Finland Europe Very High 17C 14B 14B 14B
Estonia Europe Very High 17C 17C 14B 17C
England Europe Very High 23INC 13B+ 14B 23INC
Denmark Europe Very High 23INC 14B 13B+ 12A-
Colombia South America High 23INC 20D 17C 14B/B
China Asia High 14B 13B+ 19D+ 20D
Chile South America Very High 20D 20D 17C 17C
Canada North America Very High 16C+ 14B 12A- 15B-
Brazil South America High 16C+ 23INC 23INC 20D
Belgium (Flanders) Europe Very High 23INC 15B- 23INC 16C+
Australia Oceania Very High 16C+ 15B- 12A- 20D
Country Continent HDI Family and Peers School Community and Environment Government

Click on a flag to view a country.

Australia

Belgium (Flanders)

Brazil

Canada

Chile

China

Colombia

Denmark

England

Estonia

Finland

Ghana

Hong Kong

India

Ireland

Japan

Kenya

Malaysia

Mexico

Mozambique

Netherlands

New Zealand

Nigeria

Poland

Portugal

Qatar

Scotland

Slovenia

South Africa

South Korea

Spain

Sweden

Thailand

United Arab Emirates

United States

Venezuela

Wales

Zimbabwe