Results from Poland’s 2022 Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth
2. Materials and Methods
4.1. Availability of Data and Methodology
4.2. Discussion on GM 4.0 Grades in Poland
4.3. Methodological Limitations of GM 4.0 in Poland
5.1. Recommendations on Data Availability
5.2. Recommendations on Grades Improvements in Poland
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
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|Overall Physical Activity||INC||A decision was taken to not grade the overall PA indicator in Poland. Physical activity monitoring system for children and adolescents in Poland primarily uses the Prochaska screening test, which does not give the opportunity to refer to the most recent WHO PA recommendation for children and adolescents—% of children and youth who meet the Global Recommendations on Physical Activity for Health, which recommend that children and youth accumulate at least 60 min of moderate-to vigorous-intensity physical activity per day on average, which is the main benchmark to assess PA in GM 4.0. No data using device-measured PA was available.However, if we analyze the most relevant studies based on the 7 days/60 min cut-off, a decreasing trend of OPA in comparison with the previous editions of the GM in Poland could be observed:
|Organized Sport and Physical Activity||C+||In reference to a single benchmark % of children and youth who participate in organized sport and/or physical activity programs:
|Active Play||INC||Active play was graded as incomplete (INC) due to inadequate information to assign a grade. Although national surveys (such as COSI) collected active play-related data, none of them reported on the % of children and youth who engage in unstructured/unorganized active play at any intensity for more than 2 h a day|
|Active Transportation||C−||For assessing the Active Transportation indicator, we used a single benchmark—% of children and youth who use active transportation to get to and from places (e.g., school, park, mall, friend’s house). Two sources of data were used:
|Sedentary Behaviors||D||While grading Sedentary Behaviors we referred to a single benchmark % of children and youth who meet the Canadian Sedentary Behavior Guidelines (5–17-year-olds: no more than 2 h of recreational screen time per day):
|Physical Fitness||C||A single benchmark—average percentile achieved on certain physical fitness indicators based on the normative values published by Tomkinson et. al.  was used to grade Physical Fitness. The assessment was based on a single source of data. It included mean values of four (motor) tests assessing components of physical fitness: standing broad-jump, sit-ups in 30 s, handgrip test and bent-arm hang (9–11 year-old boys, 9–17 year-old girls), counted separately in each age and gender group. The mean percentiles for the long jump in relation to published international standards were similar in both gender groups (girls: 41.8%, boys: 40.4%) . The mean percentiles for the handgrip test were slightly higher in the girls group than in the boys group at 40.5% and 38.2%, respectively . In the sit-ups test, the average (mean) percentiles amounted to 66.3% in girls and 50.8% in boys. In the bent-arms hang test the analyzed, counted values were: 76.1% in girls and 67.9% in boys. Based on these results, we obtained an average score of 50.7%, which corresponds to a grade C.|
|Family and Peers||C−||The grade for family and peers was based on a single benchmark: the % of family members (e.g., parents, guardians) who are physically active with their kids.
|School||B+||The grade assigned to the school environment was based on three benchmarks:|
(1) the percentage of schools where the majority (≥80%) of students are offered the mandated amount of PE (for the given state/territory/region/country).
|Community and Environment||C||To assess the indicator, we used four benchmarks covered by two sources of data. |
(1) % of children or parents who report having facilities, programs, parks and playgrounds available to them in their community benchmark)
|Government||C||Three benchmarks were used to assess the Government indicator. (1) Evidence of leadership and commitment in providing PA opportunities for all children and youth |
In Poland at a governmental level, the topic of PA is primarily addressed through sports by the ministry responsible for physical culture. The largest programs promoted by the Ministry of Sport and Tourism are simple, uniform interventions to support access to sport for children and youth through sport clubs (Klub) and school trainers (Szkolny Klub Sportowy). Despite their large scale, there is little evidence that those programs affect PA levels of children and youth . There is very limited reference to PA promotion in children and youth as part of governmental strategies other than through the lenses of sport and physical education. SB are not considered a separate challenge. There are no national policies aiming to impact SB other than through sport or PE programs [31,32].
(2) Allocated funds and resources for the implementation of PA promotion strategies and initiatives for all children and youth. Demonstrated progress through the key stages of public policy making (i.e., policy agenda, policy formation, policy implementation, policy evaluation and decisions about the future).
In reference to funds and resources allocated to the implementation of PA promotion strategies on a national level, consistent progress can be observed in the amount of money spent on sport promotion programs aimed at children and youth through the channels directed by the ministry responsible for physical culture .
Subsidies for physical culture given by local authorities slowly increased between 2011 and 2016, whereas the trend in total spending from 2011 to 16 was not clear . Despite the observed lack of success in achieving levels of PA levels in youth aimed for in the Sport Development Programme, the approach to promote PA through sports in Poland still continues .
Furthermore, in 2020, an operational plan in the area of PA promotion in Poland was not developed, despite being included in the plan (the previous Sport Development Programme expired in 2020) . PA exists in some mid-term national strategies, yet these plans are fragmentary.
On the other hand, in 2017 the very first national recommendations for health-enhancing PA in Poland were introduced. These include recommendations for four age groups of children and youth .
(3) HEPA PAT v2 and the scoring rubric published by Ward et al. 
An analysis of governmental strategies, action plans and programs (as defined in HEPA PAT v2) referring to the PA of children and youth was conducted based on a modified methodology proposed by Ward et al. . In comparison to Ward et al., in our analysis we decided not to use the number of relevant policies as assessment criteria but gave policy breadth (number of sectors) relatively more importance. The aim of the analysis was to assess the quality of policies aiming to affect the PA of children and youth. Four general mid-term national strategies included references to PA promotion. In addition, two specific topical strategies and five programs (HEPA PAT v2 definition) were identified . One specific strategy aimed at PA promotion in Poland is the Sport Development Programme 2020 that is supported by Implementation Plan [32,36,37]. The total score for nine documents is 86.5 points (100 maximum). The breadth of documents is low as they refer to a limited number of policy domains: sport, environment, education and transport. All documents have specifications to promote PA, and a specific organization is identified as responsible for delivery of actions. Most (82%) have explicit reporting systems with a set frequency and format of reports, 91% have explicit references to funding to support identified actions, and 55% have explicit references to monitoring and evaluation of progress and impact of the policy.
Taking into account available data it was decided by the consensus of researchers to grade the indicator C.
|Overall Physical Activity||D||D−||INC|
|Organized Sport and Physical Activity||C||D||C+|
|Family and Peers||C||C−||C−|
|Community and Environment||C||C||C|
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Zembura, P.; Korcz, A.; Nałęcz, H.; Cieśla, E. Results from Poland’s 2022 Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19, 4276. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19074276
Zembura P, Korcz A, Nałęcz H, Cieśla E. Results from Poland’s 2022 Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2022; 19(7):4276. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19074276Chicago/Turabian Style
Zembura, Paweł, Agata Korcz, Hanna Nałęcz, and Elżbieta Cieśla. 2022. "Results from Poland’s 2022 Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 19, no. 7: 4276. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19074276