Australian children have been given an overall physical activity grade of D- in the latest Physical Activity Report Card for Children and Young People. Released today by Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance as part of a global release of 49 national reports on childhood activity levels, the report highlights that Australian children are being left behind by their international peers.
Despite scoring well on organised sport participation (B-), and community and the environment (A-) and passable on the influence of family and peers (C+), Australian children were found to have poor physical fitness (D+) and movement skills (D+).
Alice Pryor, Parents’ Voice Campaigns Manager, is concerned about the impact of this inactivity on the health of Australian children.
“Being active is key to leading a healthy, good quality life. It assists children to grow strong bones and have good muscle strength, enhances their mental wellbeing, increases their chance of being a healthy weight and lowers their risk of developing chronic conditions.”
Australia also scored poorly for sedentary behaviour (D-), active transport (D+), government strategies and investment (D), prompting Parents’ Voice to renew its call for national action on active transport as part of a comprehensive strategy to improve childhood activity levels.
“We know that support for active transport has a positive impact on the activity levels of children” Ms Pryor said, “Japan has prioritised walking to school and can credit this strategy as being part of its overall success. Japanese children scored an A for physical fitness and the country had no activity scores lower than a C-”.
“With 1 in 4 Australian children above a healthy weight, Australia must take action to ensure that our children are not left behind. This report shows that Australia’s governments are failing to invest in the activity of our children. We need a national, government led, plan to get our children moving again.”
About parents voice:
Parents’ Voice is an online network of parents who are interested in improving the food and activity environments of Australian children. Formerly known as The Parents’ Jury, Parents’ Voice was formed in 2004 and represents thousands of Australian parents, carers, and health professionals. Parents’ Voice is supported by Diabetes Victoria, VicHealth and YMCA Victoria.
About the Global Matrix:
The report by the Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance (AHKGA) compared 49 countries from six continents to assess global trends in childhood physical activity in developed and developing nations, resulting in the “Global Matrix 3.0” comparison of grades.
More here: https://www.activehealthykids.org/global-matrix/
Australia’s report card: https://www.activehealthykids.org/australia/
What the grades mean:
A = succeeding with a majority of children and young people (81–100%) B = succeeding with well over half of children and young people (61–80%) C = succeeding with about half of children and young people (41–60%) D = succeeding with some but less than half of children and young people (21–40%); and
F = succeeding with very few children and young people (0–20%)