Results from the 2016 Zimbabwe Report Card on the Physical Activity of Children and Youth

Manyanga T, Makaza D, Mahachi C, Mlalazi TF, Masocha V, Makoni P, Tapera E, Khumalo B, Rutsate SH, Tremblay MS

Background: The report card is a synthesis of the best available evidence on the performance of Zimbabwean children and youth on key physical activity (PA) indicators. The aim of this paper was to summarize the results from the 2016 Zimbabwe Report Card. Methods: The Report Card Working Group gathered and synthesized the best available evidence, met, discussed and assigned grades to 10 indicators based on the Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance global matrix grading system. Results: A little over half of Zimbabwean children and youth met the recommended amount of daily PA thus a grade of C+ for overall PA was assigned. Grades for 7 other indicators ranged from A- to F and 2 indicators were awarded incomplete grades due to insufficient or no data. Conclusions: Although the majority of children used active transport, played organized sports and engaged in acceptable levels of PA, most of them did not meet the recommended hours of unstructured/unorganized play per day. Studies with robust research designs and representative samples are needed to better inform future Report Cards. Zimbabwe also needs to prioritize policies and investments that promote greater and safe participation in PA among children and youth.