|New U.S. Report Card Reveals Near-Failing Grade for Physical Activity in Children, Youth
Despite Slow Improvement Nationally, Key Gaps and Opportunities Identified
(Washington, D.C.)- The National Physical Activity Plan Alliance (NPAPA) today released its 2018 United States Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth. This is the third comprehensive assessment of physical activity in U.S. children and youth, updating the first report card released in 2014 and the second released in 2016. While the overall physical activity grade for children and youth remained low at D-, the 2018 report card revealed positive signs, especially related to opportunities and infrastructure that supports physical activity in children and youth. The Report Card includes grades for nine specific indicators, individual state data, and recommendations for how grades can be improved.
The report card is an advocacy tool that provides accountability and a call-to-action for decision-makers regarding how parents, teachers, health professionals, community leaders and policy makers can implement new initiatives, programs and policies to improve the physical activity levels and health of children and youth.
“This report card continues to provide reliable data that helps assess both progress and barriers to physical activity for our children,” said Peter T. Katzmarzyk, Ph.D., chair of the alliance’s Report Card Research Advisory Committee. “Clearly, there is significant work to do in removing existing barriers, but we are encouraged by the progress we’re seeing on multiple fronts.”
The U.S. Report Card grades nine separate indicators of a child’s access to and participation in physical activity. Promising highlights from the 2018 report card include the following:
“While these positive results are encouraging and provide a glimpse into what’s possible, there is no denying that the overall grades for the indicators remain critically low,” said Russell Pate, board chair for the National Physical Activity Plan Alliance. “This report card should generate a renewed sense of urgency to take the action needed for the sake of our children and their future.”
The nine indicators and 2018 grades are as follows:
Another important outcome of the 2018 Report Card was the identification of critical gaps that exist in certain demographics, including gender, race/ethnicity, age, ability and household income. The research is clear that physical activity levels are not equal, and the findings can provide a roadmap for addressing these gaps and overcoming barriers to increased physical activity.
To review a summary or the full 2018 United States Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth, including detailed assessments of each indicator, expert recommendations and state-specific data, visit the National Physical Activity Plan Website.
Support for the development of the 2018 report card was provided by the following NPAPA organizational partners: The American College of Sports Medicine, SHAPE America and the American Council on Exercise.
About the National Physical Activity Plan Alliance:
The National Physical Activity Plan Alliance is a coalition of national organizations that have come together to insure the long term success of the National Physical Activity Plan (NPAP). The NPAP is a comprehensive set of policies, programs and initiatives that aim to increase physical activity in all segments of the U.S. population. More details at www.physicalactivityplan.org
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