Changes in indicators of child and youth physical activity in Canada, 2005–2016

Joel D. Barnes, Mark S. Tremblay


Physical activity trend analysis enables the monitoring and surveillance of physical activity indicators and the identification of areas that should be targeted for intervention and promotion, which is particularly important at present because so few school-aged children and youth in Canada adhere to the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines for Children and Youth. In this commentary, we demonstrate through a descriptive temporal trend analysis of grade changes in the ParticipACTION Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth that there have been positive changes in several indicators of physical activity support (family, school, community and environment, government, non-government) in Canada over the last 12 years. However, these changes have seldom resulted in the desired behavioural-level modifications or been associated with any meaningful increase in the prevalence of children and youth meeting the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines for Children and Youth. This suggests that physical activity intervention and promotion efforts may need to focus more on directly targeting the physical activity behaviours of Canadian children and youth, or that alternate approaches are required.


Assessment; surveillance; monitoring; evaluation; sedentary; play; sport

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