Results from Ireland North and South’s 2022 report card on physical activity for children and adolescents

Angela Carlin, Sinead Connolly, Tamsyn L. Redpath, Sarahjane Belton, Tara Coppinger, Conor Cunningham, Alan Donnelly, Kieran Dowd, Deirdre Harrington, Elaine Murtagh, Kwok Ng, Wesley O'Brien, Lauren Rodriguez, Catherine B Woods, Helen McAvoy, Marie H Murphy

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The Ireland North and South Report Card on Physical Activity (PA) for Children and Adolescents aims to monitor progress in PA participation across a range of internationally established indicators.

Data were collated for 11 indicators and graded following the harmonised Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance report card process. Six representative studies (sample size range n = 898 to n = 15,557) were primarily used in the grading, with many indicators supplemented with additional studies and reports. Data collected since the implementation of COVID-19 public health measures in March 2020 were excluded.

Grades were awarded as follows: ‘Overall physical activity’, C-; ‘Organised Sport and Physical Activity’, C; ‘Active Play’, INC; ‘Sedentary Behaviours’, C-; ‘Physical Fitness’, INC; ‘Family and Peers’, D+; ‘School’, C-; ‘Physical Education’, D; ‘Community and Environment’, B+ and ‘Government’, B. Separate grades were awarded for disability as follows; ‘Overall physical activity’, F; ‘Organised Sport and Physical Activity’, D; ‘Sedentary Behaviours’, C-; ‘Family and Peers’, C; ‘School’, C- and ‘Government’, B. ‘Active Play’, ‘Physical Fitness’, ‘Physical Education’ and ‘Community and Environment’ were all graded INC for disability. Since the last report card in 2016, four grades remained the same, three increased (‘Overall physical activity’, ‘School’ and ‘Physical Education’) and two (‘Family and Peers,’ and ‘Government’) were awarded grades for the first time.

Grades specific to children and adolescents with disability were generally lower for each indicator. While small improvements have been shown across a few indicators, PA levels remain low across many indicators for children and adolescents.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-72
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Exercise Science & Fitness
Issue number1
Early online date9 Dec 2023
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 31 Jan 2024

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by funding from the Public Health Agency (Northern Ireland), Department of Health (Ireland) and Healthy Ireland, Sport Northern Ireland, Sport Ireland, and the Institute of Public Health in Ireland. The Institute of Public Health is jointly funded by the Departments of Health in Ireland and Northern Ireland . The funders had no role in the design of the study. The Institute of Public Health were part of the research working group (represented by two staff members) and were involved in the grading of the data and writing of the manuscript. All other funders had no role in the collection, analyses, or interpretation of the data, or in the decision to publish the results.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Society of Chinese Scholars on Exercise Physiology and Fitness


  • Active transport
  • Physical education
  • Sedentary behaviour
  • Sport
  • Surveillance


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