Results from Scotland’s 2021 Report Card on Physical Activity and Health for Children and Youth: Grades, Secular Trends, and Socio-Economic Inequalities

Farid Bardid* (Corresponding Author), Simone A. Tomaz, Avril Johnstone, Jenni Roberton, Leone Craig, John J Reilly

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
5 Downloads (Pure)


Background: The 2021 Active Healthy Kids Scotland Report Card aimed to identify secular trends and socio-economic inequalities, and to assess the health of children and youth prior to COVID-19.
Methods: An expert panel searched for data published in 2018-2020. Grades were assigned to nationally representative data using the Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance methodology.
Results: The expert panel, following national consultation, awarded the following grades: Community/Environment B-, Organized Sport and Physical Activity B-, Government/Policy C/C+, Active Transportation C-, Family/Peers D-, Recreational Screen Time F. Five indicators were graded inconclusive (INC): Overall Physical Activity; Active Play; Physical Fitness; Diet; Obesity. Grades have
remained stable or declined, and surveillance has reduced, increasing the number of INC grades.
There were marked socio-economic inequalities for eight indicators (Recreational Screen Time; Overall Physical Activity; Organized Sport & Physical Activity; Active Transportation; Diet; Obesity; Family/Peers; Community/Environment).
Conclusions: Despite a decade of favorable policy, physical activity and health of children and youth has not improved, and marked socio-economic inequalities continue to persist in Scotland. There is a clear need for greater monitoring of physical activity and health, and improved policy implementation and evaluation, particularly as many indicators and related inequalities may have worsened following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-322
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Exercise Science & Fitness
Issue number4
Early online date19 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2022

Bibliographical note

We acknowledge the Board of the Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance for guidance and for reviewing the 2021 report card process and grades. We also thank the respondents to our consultation for their valuable feedback. FB, SAT, JR, LCAC, and JJR did not receive funding for this work. AJ was supported by the UK Medical Research Council and the Chief Scientist Office (grant numbers MC_UU_00022/1 , MC_UU_00022/4; SPHSU16, SPHSU19).


  • Physical activity
  • Sedentary behaviour
  • Health
  • Childhood
  • Adolescence
  • Surveillance


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