The Ireland North and South Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Adolescents is part of the initiative from the Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance,. It was established in 2014 to create a world of active healthy kids. Close to 70 countries have signed up and taken part in the global alliance to date, with 57 countries involved in the most recent iteration, known as Global Matrix 4.0.
Under this global initiative all Report Cards are generated using a standardised grading system, with grades from A for succeeding with a large majority of children to F for succeeding with few children.
The 2022 Report Card is the third report of its kind for Ireland and Northern Ireland and provides a grade across 11 indicators for physical activity among children and teenagers.
The 11 indicators in the Irish physical activity report card are,
- Overall Physical Activity
- Organised Sport & Physical Activity
- Active Play
- Active Transportation
- Sedentary Behaviour
- Physical Fitness
- Family & Peers
- Community & Environment
- Physical Education
The team of investigators – from Ulster University, Institute of Public Health, Dublin City University, Munster Technological University, University of Limerick, Technical University of Shannon, University College Cork, University of Strathclyde, and University of Eastern Finland – also found evidence of inequalities across a range of indicators with disability, gender, social economic status and age all impacting on physical activity levels. Data from the 2018 Children’s Sport Participation and Physical Activity (CSPPA) study were used in almost all of the indicators and was a source of data that was use for reporting results from both Ireland and Northern Ireland.
For the first time, the 2022 Report Card analysed data on physical activity among children and adolescents with disabilities. Again, the CSPPA study was able to provide evidence many of the graded indicators.
Professor of Exercise and Health, Ulster University, Marie Murphy, who is one of the CSPPA’s institutional leads said: “The 2022 Ireland North and South Report Card highlights progress made in the promotion and uptake of physical activity among children and adolescents across the whole island of Ireland.”
The North South Report Card was funded by the Public Health Agency, Department of Health and Healthy Ireland, Sport Northern Ireland, Sport Ireland, and the Institute of Public Health.