Global Report Finds Canadian Kids Rank 28th in Physical Activity

Global report finds Canadian kids rank 28th in physical activity`

A report by the Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance (AHKGA) which assessed global levels and trends in child and adolescent physical activity finds that Canada continues to lag behind other countries in several key indicators. The report involved 682 experts who produced 57 country report cards, grading 10 common indicators. The resulting “Global Matrix” of grades allowed for an examination of global patterns and highlights how our changing world is affecting children’s physical activity levels.


Canada’s submissions to the Global Matrix 4.0 are the grades from the recent 2022 ParticipACTION Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth, the country’s most comprehensive assessment of child and youth physical activity.


Areas of concern

Canada is 28th in the world in Overall Physical Activity (Grade: D), 52nd in Sedentary Behaviour (Grade F), and just 25th in the overall blended ranking across all indicators (Grade C-).


On the positive side

Canada fares better in many social, cultural and political indicators – we are 9th in the world for Community and Environment (Grade B), 16th in Family and Peers (Grade C), and 20th in Government (Grade B-).



"We all have a role to play in addressing physical inactivity in our children and youth. Countries like Slovenia and Denmark, which have consistently fared well globally, have treated this issue by tackling the pervasive cultural and social norms that are behind inactive kids. To make being active a way of life for every kid living in Canada, we need collaborative solutions that involve parents, educators, communities and all levels of government working together and investing in long-term, sustained strategies with a clear vision for the future."

"We hope this report will be a call to action for societies around the world. Making kids more active is a generational problem driven by our modern lifestyles – increases in digital screen time, the growing urbanization of communities and the rise in automation of previously manual tasks – which are contributing to a pervasive yet unequally distributed public health issue that must be recognized as a global and national priority. The pandemic has only contributed to the challenge, as screens became a necessity for both education and recreation, and public health restrictions fueled an indoor, sedentary lifestyle."

"Alongside the launch of the Global Matrix 4.0, we are pleased to announce the inaugural release of the 2022 Canadian Physical Activity Report Card for Children and Youth with Disabilities. For the first time ever, we were able to synthesize all national-level data examining the movement behaviours of children with disabilities. Based on available evidence, children and youth with disabilities received a grade of D for overall physical activity. Data gaps in the measurement of physical activity were evident highlighting a major need to improve national monitoring and surveillance by collecting more evidence on the accessibility and quality of programs and infrastructure in key settings".

About ParticipACTION

ParticipACTION is a national non-profit charitable organization that inspires and supports Canadians to make physical activity a vital part of their everyday life. As Canada’s leading physical activity brand, ParticipACTION works with its partners, which include organizations in the sport, physical activity and recreation sectors, alongside government and corporate sponsors, to help Canadians reduce sedentary time and move more through innovative engagement initiatives and thought leadership. ParticipACTION is generously supported by the Government of Canada. Learn how ParticipACTION has been moving Canadians for over 50 years at and download the free ParticipACTION app to access a fun, evidence-informed tool that empowers you on your physical activity journey.


About the Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance Global Matrix 4.0 Project

The global comparisons were led by the Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance (AHKGA;, a registered not-for-profit organization made up of researchers, health professionals, and stakeholders who work together to advance physical activity in children and adolescents around the world. AHKGA’s vision is a world of active healthy kids, with a mission to power the global movement to get kids moving through thought leadership, knowledge translation and mobilization, capacity building, and advocacy. The dominant effort of the AHKGA to date has been its Global Matrix initiative. Each participating country’s research process to determine grades was based on a harmonized framework and standardized grading rubric. Ten common indicators were compared: Overall Physical Activity, Organized Sport and Physical Activity, Active Play, Active Transportation, Sedentary Behaviour, Physical Fitness, Family and Peers, School, Community and Environment, and Government. Report Cards from each of the 57 countries, as well as the results of the global comparisons, were presented at the 9th International Society for Physical Activity and Health Congress in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, and published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health on October 24, 2022. Complete details of the Global Matrix 4.0, each country’s leaders, grades, report cards, and more are available at The “Global Matrix 1.0” (2014, 15 countries), “Global Matrix 2.0” (2016, 38 countries), and “Global Matrix 3.0” (2018, 49 countries) findings are also available on the AHKGA website.

Stay Connected!

Subscribe to FitBizWeekly’s FREE newsletter for news, commentary, idea sharing and developments across the Canadian health and fitness industry.

By clicking on the Subscribe button you agree to be on our newsletter list. You can opt out anytime. We respect your privacy. Your information will not be shared and your email address will be stored safely.