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.

CountryContinentHDIOverall Physical ActivityOrganized Sport and Physical ActivityActive PlayActive TransportationSedentary Behavior
ZimbabweAfrica0,0016C+14B19D+12A-14B
WalesEurope0,0021D-17C17C17C21D-
VenezuelaSouth America0,0020D23INC23INC23INC21D/F
United StatesNorth America0,0021D-18C-23INC22F21D-
United Arab EmiratesAsia0,0022D-/F-23INC23INC22D-/F-18C-
ThailandAsia0,0021D-17C22F14B21D-
SwedenEurope0,0020D13B+23INC16C+17C
SpainEurope0,0021D-14B16C+17C20D
South KoreaAsia0,0021D-18C-23INC16C+22F
South AfricaAfrica0,0017C17C23INC17C22F
SloveniaEurope0,0012A-15B-20D17C13B+
ScotlandEurope0,0022F23INC23INC17C22F
QatarAsia0,0022F20D23INC23INC20D
PortugalEurope0,0020D14B20D17C20D
PolandEurope0,0020D20D23INC17C20D
NigeriaAfrica0,0017C23INC17C14B22F
New ZealandOceania0,0015B-16C+15B-17C17C
NetherlandsEurope0,0020D14B14B11A17C
MozambiqueAfrica17C22F20D17C23INC
MexicoNorth America0,0017C20D21D-17C20D
MalaysiaAsia20D23INC23INC20D20D
KenyaAfrica17C17C14B14B14B
JapanAsia0,0023INC17C23INC14B17C
IrelandEurope20D17C-/C+23INC20D18C-
IndiaAsia0,0018C-23INC23INC17C17C
Hong KongAsia0,0020D18C-23INC14B17C
GhanaAfrica0,0020D17C14B17C20D
FinlandEurope0,0020D17C17C14B20D
EstoniaEurope0,0022F17C23INC23INC22F
EnglandEurope0,0021D-20D23INC18C-23INC
DenmarkEurope0,0019D+11A23INC14B23INC
ColombiaSouth America0,0020D17C23INC20D20D
ChinaAsia0,0022F22F21D-18C-22F
ChileSouth America0,0022F20D23INC18C-20D
CanadaNorth America0,0021D-14B19D+20D22F
BrazilSouth America0,0018C-23INC23INC16C+19D+
Belgium (Flanders)Europe0,0021F+18C-16C+18C-21D-
AustraliaOceania0,0021D-14B23INC18C-21D-
CountryContinentHDIOverall Physical ActivityOrganized Sport and Physical ActivityActive PlayActive TransportationSedentary Behavior

 

CountryContinentHDIFamily and PeersSchoolCommunity and EnvironmentGovernment
ZimbabweAfricaLow23INC20D22F20D
WalesEuropeVery High19D+14B17C15B-
VenezuelaSouth AmericaHigh23INC23INC23INC20D
United StatesNorth AmericaVery High23INC19D+15B-23INC
United Arab EmiratesAsiaVery High18C-20D23INC13B+
ThailandAsiaHigh14B17C17C17C
SwedenEuropeVery High23INC16C+14B14B
SpainEuropeVery High23INC17C23INC23INC
South KoreaAsiaVery High23INC20D23INC17C
South AfricaAfricaMedium18C-20D18C-14B
SloveniaEuropeVery High23INC11A23INC13B+
ScotlandEuropeVery High21D-2414B14B
QatarAsiaVery High20D23INC23INC14B
PortugalEuropeVery High17C14B20D17C
PolandEuropeVery High17C14B17C17C
NigeriaAfricaLow23INC18C-23INC14B
New ZealandOceaniaVery High17C16C+14B15B-
NetherlandsEuropeVery High14B17C11A23INC
MozambiqueAfrica23INC20D22F22F
MexicoNorth AmericaHigh23INC21D-20D17C
MalaysiaAsia23INC14B23INC14B
KenyaAfrica20D17C20D17C
JapanAsiaVery High20D14B20D14B
IrelandEurope23INC20D13B+23INC
IndiaAsiaMedium23INC23INC23INC20D
Hong KongAsiaVery High20D17C14B23INC
GhanaAfricaMedium22F20D22F20D
FinlandEuropeVery High17C14B14B14B
EstoniaEuropeVery High17C17C14B17C
EnglandEuropeVery High23INC13B+14B23INC
DenmarkEuropeVery High23INC14B13B+12A-
ColombiaSouth AmericaHigh23INC20D17C14B/B
ChinaAsiaHigh14B13B+19D+20D
ChileSouth AmericaVery High20D20D17C17C
CanadaNorth AmericaVery High16C+14B12A-15B-
BrazilSouth AmericaHigh16C+23INC23INC20D
Belgium (Flanders)EuropeVery High23INC15B-23INC16C+
AustraliaOceaniaVery High16C+15B-12A-20D
CountryContinentHDIFamily and PeersSchoolCommunity and EnvironmentGovernment

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