Global comparisons report card

Physical activity is a way of life in countries where kids move the most.

Alberta Centre for Active Living supports global findings in the 2016 Global Matrix 2.0 on Physical Activity for Children and Youth

For the first time, the grades from the ParticipACTION Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth were compared to grades from 37 other countries across six continents. The global comparisons were led by Dr. Mark Tremblay, Director of the Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute (HALO-CHEO) and Chief Scientific Officer of the ParticipACTION Report Card.

“Urbanization, mechanization and an increased use of motorized transport have reduced physical activity levels globally,” said Tremblay. “Canada must resist the decline in habitual movement fueled by these trends – and not just by creating policies, strategies, facilities and bike lanes, but also by encouraging and re-establishing Canadian cultural norms where being physically active year round, through outdoor play, transportation, recreation and sport, are the Canadian standard, not the exception.”

Countries with the most active children and youth overall, including Slovenia, New Zealand and Zimbabwe, rely on very different approaches to get kids to move more, but what is consistent between them is that physical activity is driven by pervasive cultural norms.

**Being active is not just a choice, but a way of life.

Slovenia reports the highest grade (A-) for Overall Physical Activity:

  • 86 per cent of boys and 76 per cent of girls 6-to-18 years old get the recommended 60 minutes of heart-pumping physical activity per day, in comparison to just nine per cent of 5-to-17-year olds in Canada (D-).

For more comparison of Canadian data,visit ParticipACTION's website.

For more information on the Global Matrix 2.0 on Physical Activity for Children and Youth, visit the Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance website.


The Alberta Centre for Active Living is a key advocate of physical activity and promotes active living by bridging research, practice and decision-making.

For more information or to arrange a media interview, contact:

  • Nora Johnston, Director, Alberta Centre for Active Living, [email protected], 780-427-4863