Report Card Grades

Overall Physical Activity: C

Organized Sport and Physical Activity: B

Active Play: B

Active Transportation: B-

Sedentary Behavior: C-

Physical Fitness: INC

Family and Peers: INC

School: C

Community and Environment: INC

Government: INC

Top Three Priorities

  1. To develop and implement a more comprehensive national physical activity promotion framework which would include not only organized sports and physical education, but would further focus on avoiding sedentary behaviours, promoting active transportation or active play. Lack of national coordination mechanism referring to the various aspects of PA promotion leads to one-dimensional approach towards the concept.
  2. To put a focus on programmes delivered to the groups widely neglected in the current PA promotion framework such as pre-schoolers and older adolescents, especially girls. Better suited interventions are needed to reach groups, which are particularly in danger of not meeting recommended level of PA. Current one-fit-all governmental approach towards PA promotion, especially visible in the field of organized sports may even foster existing inequalities in reference to access to PA opportunities.
  3. To focus on a PA programs involving whole families, especially delivered in their local neighbourhood and with a use of accessible infrastructure such as parks or outdoor gyms. This could directly promote PA among parents, indirectly increase their support for children and adolescents PA and challenge their assessment of neighbourhood environment.

Report Card Leader

Tim Takken, Ph.D.Tim Takken MSc PhD is a medical exercise physiologist and associate professor in pediatrics at the Wilhemina Children’s Hospital of the University Medical Center Utrecht, the Netherlands. He has a special interest in clinical pediatric exercise physiology. He hosted several international meetings in Utrecht, including the 29th Pediatric Work Physiology Meeting.

He is currently director of the Clinical Exercise Testing Laboratory in Utrecht. Further he is the chair of the Dutch chapter of CPX international. Dr Takken published over 180 peer-reviewed papers and authored 4 books.

Testimonial

"It is so wonderful to be part of the global movement to move children!" - Tim Takken, Ph.D.

Conference Abstract: Movement to Move

Results From the Netherlands’s 2018 Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth

Tim Takken, Nynke de Jong, on behalf of the Dutch Physical Activity Report Card study group. Email: t.takken@umcutrecht.nl

Brief Introduction

National surveillance data in the Netherlands show that the percentage of children and youth, who meet the Dutch physical activity guidelines has decreased significantly between 2006 and 2014.

Methods

The 2018 Report Card included the 10 core physical activity indicators that are common to the Global Matrix 3.0 (Overall Physical Activity, Organized Sport Participation, Active Play, Active Transportation, Sedentary Behavior, Family and Peers, School, Community and Environment, Government, and Physical Fitness). Weight status was included as an additional indicator.

Three groups of indicators were created: Daily Behaviors (Overall Physical Activity, Organized Sport and Physical Activity Participation, Active Play, Active Transportation, and Sedentary Behaviors), Settings and Sources of Influence (Family and Peers, School, Community and Environment, and Government), and health outcomes (Weight status and Physical Fitness).

The data sources relied upon most heavily were national surveys and data from January 2016 to June 2018 was used to inform the grades.

Results

For many indicators there were self-reported data available. The grades and rationales are provided in Table 1.

Table 1. Grades and rationales for the Netherlands 2018 Report Card

IndicatorGradeRational
Overall Physical ActivityCNational data show that 56% of children and 33% of adolescents are meeting the national physical activity recommendations.2
Organized Sport ParticipationBNational data shows that 64% of children and 77% of adolescents are participating weekly in sport.2
Active PlayB70% of children play actively outside more than 1 time  per week.2
Active TransportationB-90% of adolescents commute actively to school. 36% of children commute actively to school.2
Sedentary BehaviorsC41% of the children and adolescents spend more than 2 hours per day watching TV, and 44% are using other screen devices for less than 2 hours/day.2
Family and PeersINCNo national data are available.
SchoolC56% of physical education (PE) teachers are educated PE teachers and most of the schools have a sports hall.3
Community and EnvironmentINC Good infrastructure that promotes physical activity exists (e.g., many bicycle paths, 30km/hour speed limit, playgrounds etc.)
GovernmentINCMany projects to promote physical activity exist, but only a few standardized policies exist and their effects are not evaluated.
Physical fitnessINCNo national representative fitness data are available

Conclusions / recommendations

Although Dutch children and youth frequently participate in sports, active transport and active play, most Dutch children do not meet the national guidelines for healthy physical activity and sedentary behavior.

Promoting physical activity through active transport to school and physical activity during school time might be a pathway for increasing overall physical activity in Dutch children and youth. Schools should also focus on increasing Physical Education (PE) (quality) time and appoint educated PE-teachers.

Report Card Grades

Overall Physical Activity: D

Organized Sport Participation: B

Active Play: B

Active Transportation: A

Sedentary Behaviors: C

Family and Peers: B

School: C

Community and Built Environment: A

Government Strategies and Investments: INC

Report Card Leader

Tim Takken, Ph.D.Tim Takken MSc PhD is a medical exercise physiologist and associate professor in pediatrics at the Wilhemina Children’s Hospital of the University Medical Center Utrecht, the Netherlands. He has a special interest in clinical pediatric exercise physiology. He hosted several international meetings in Utrecht, including the 29th Pediatric Work Physiology Meeting.

He is currently director of the Clinical Exercise Testing Laboratory in Utrecht. Further he is the chair of the Dutch chapter of CPX international. Dr Takken published over 180 peer-reviewed papers and authored 4 books.

Conference Abstract: 6th International Congress on Physical Activity and Public Health

Is our youth cycling to health?: Results from the Dutch 2016 Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth

Marcella Burghard, Karlijn Knitel, Iris van Oost, Mark S. Tremblay, Tim Takken on behalf of the Dutch Physical Activity Report Card Study Group

Background. The Active Healthy Kids the Netherlands (AHKN) Report Card consolidates and translates research and assesses how the Netherlands is being responsible in providing physical activity opportunities for children and youth (<18 years). The primary aim of this article is to summarize the results of the 2016 AHKN Report Card. Methods. Nine indicators were graded using the Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance report card development process, which includes a synthesis of the best available research, surveillance, policy and practice findings, and expert consensus. Results. Grades assigned were: Overall physical activity levels D; Organized sport participation B; Active play B; Active transportation A; Sedentary behaviors C; Family and Peers B; School C; Community and the Built Environment A; (non-) government strategies and investments INC. Conclusions. Sedentary behavior and overall physical activity levels are not meeting current guidelines. However, the Dutch youth behaviors in sports, active transportation and active play are satisfactory. Several modifiable factors of influence might be enhanced to improve these indicators or at least prevent regression. Although Dutch children accumulate a lot of daily physical activity through cycling, it is not enough to meet the current national physical activity guidelines of 60 minutes of MVPA per day. Cycling is important, however cycling alone is not enough for sufficient levels of physical activity.