Core Physical Activity Indicators

The first nine indicators and their associated definitions and benchmarks were used in the Global Matrix 1.0 and 2.0. A tenth indicator was included for the Global Matrix 3.0.

idIndicatorDefinitionBenchmark
1Overall Physical ActivityAny bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that requires energy expenditure.% of children and youth who meet the Global Recommendations on Physical Activity for Health, which recommend that children and youth accumulate a combined total of at least 60 minutes of daily moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity.

Note: for countries with Actigraph data, please report results using the Evenson cutpoint for MVPA to facilitate comparisons.
2Organized Sport and Physical ActivityA subset of physical activity that is structured, goal-oriented, competitive and contest-based.% of children and youth who participate in organized sport and/or physical activity programs.
3Active PlayActive play may involve symbolic activity or games with or without clearly defined rules; the activity may be unstructured/unorganized, social or solitary, but the distinguishing features are a playful context, combined with activity that is significantly above resting metabolic rate. Active play tends to occur sporadically, with frequent rest periods, which makes it difficult to record.% of children and youth who engage in unstructured/unorganized active play for several hours a day.

% of children and youth who report being outdoors for several hours a day.
4Active TransportationActive transportation refers to any form of human-powered transportation – walking, cycling, using a wheelchair, in-line skating or skateboarding.% of children and youth who use active transportation to get to and from places (e.g., school, park, mall, friend’s house).
5Sedentary BehavioursAny waking behaviour characterized by an energy expenditure ≤1.5 metabolic equivalents, while in a sitting, reclining or lying posture.% of children and youth who meet the Canadian Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines (5- to 17-year-olds: no more than two hours of screen time per day).

Note: the Guidelines currently provide a time limit recommendation for screen-related pursuits, but not for non-screen-related pursuits.
6Family and PeersAny member within the family who can control or influence the physical activity opportunities and participation of children and youth in this environment.% of family members (e.g., parents, guardians) who facilitate physical activity and sport opportunities for their children (e.g., volunteering, coaching, driving, paying for membership fees and equipment).

% of parents who meet the Global Recommendations on Physical Activity for Health, which recommend that adults accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or do at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity.

% of family members (e.g., parents, guardians) who are physically active with their kids.

% of children and youth with friends and peers who encourage and support them to be physically active.

% of children and youth who encourage and support their friends and peers to be physically active.
7SchoolAny policies, organizational factors (e.g., infrastructure, accountability for policy implementation) or student factors (e.g., physical activity options based on age, gender or ethnicity) in the school environment that can influence the physical activity opportunities and participation of children and youth in this environment.% of schools with active school policies (e.g., daily PE, daily physical activity, recess, “everyone plays” approach, bike racks at school, traffic calming on school property, outdoor time).

% of schools where the majority (≥ 80%) of students are taught by a PE specialist.

% of schools where the majority (≥ 80%) of students are offered the mandated amount of PE (for the given state/territory/region/country).

% of schools that offer physical activity opportunities (excluding PE) to the majority (> 80%) of their students.

% of parents who report their children and youth have access to physical activity opportunities at school in addition to PE classes.

% of schools with students who have regular access to facilities and equipment that support physical activity (e.g., gymnasium, outdoor playgrounds, sporting fields, multi-purpose space for physical activity, equipment in good condition).
8Community and EnvironmentAny policies or organizational factors (e.g., infrastructure, accountability for policy implementation) in the municipal environment that can influence the physical activity opportunities and participation of children and youth in this environment.% of children or parents who perceive their community/ municipality is doing a good job at promoting physical activity (e.g., variety, location, cost, quality).

% of communities/municipalities that report they have policies promoting physical activity.

% of communities/municipalities that report they have infrastructure (e.g., sidewalks, trails, paths, bike lanes) specifically geared toward promoting physical activity.

% of children or parents who report having facilities, programs, parks and playgrounds available to them in their community.

% of children or parents who report living in a safe neighbourhood where they can be physically active. % of children or parents who report having well-maintained facilities, parks and playgrounds in their community that are safe to use.
9GovernmentAny governmental body with authority to influence physical activity opportunities or participation of children and youth through policy, legislation or regulation.Evidence of leadership and commitment in providing physical activity opportunities for all children and youth.

Allocated funds and resources for the implementation of physical activity promotion strategies and initiatives for all children and youth.

Demonstrated progress through the key stages of public policy making (i.e., policy agenda, policy formation, policy implementation, policy evaluation and decisions about the future).
10Physical FitnessCharacteristics that permit a good performance of a given physical task in a specified physical, social, and psychological environment.Average percentile achieved from Table S4c from Tomkinson et al. 2017 across age and sex for available data.

% of children and youth who meet criterion-referenced standards for muscular strength.

% of children and youth who meet criterion-referenced standards for muscular endurance.

% of children and youth who meet criterion-referenced standards for flexibility.

How to Develop a Report Card

View this step-by-step guide to learn how to develop a national report card on physical activity for children and youth.

Presentation Builder

These presentations are examples of how to present findings from the Global Matrix and from a country report card.