The development of the Republic of Slovenia Report Card was coordinated by representatives from the Faculty of Applied Kinesiology, University of Primorska (Koper) and the Faculty of Sport, University of Ljubljana. During the period from March to July 2015, a Slovenian representative was invited by the Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance to participate in the Global Matrix 2.0, and begun the process of creating the national Report Card.
For the first time, the grades from the Canadian report card were compared to grades from 37 other countries across six continents. The global comparisons were led by Dr. Mark Tremblay, Director of the Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute (HALO-CHEO) and Chief Scientific Officer of the ParticipACTION Report Card.
“Urbanization, mechanization and an increased use of motorized transport have reduced physical activity levels globally,” said Tremblay. “Canada must resist the decline in habitual movement fueled by these trends – and not just by creating policies, strategies, facilities and bike lanes, but also by encouraging and re-establishing Canadian cultural norms where being physically active year round, through outdoor play, transportation, recreation and sport, are the Canadian standard, not the exception.” Countries with the most active children and youth overall, including Slovenia, New Zealand and Zimbabwe, rely on very different approaches to get kids to move more, but what is consistent between them is that physical activity is driven by pervasive cultural norms
Slovenia reports the highest grade (A-) for Overall Physical Activity: 86 per cent of boys and 76 per cent of girls 6-to-18 years old get the recommended 60 minutes of heart-pumping physical activity per day. What’s driving this behaviour is physical education in Slovenia’s school system (A in School) – it’s a cultural norm, evaluated on an annual basis and so well established that it provides appropriate measures to deal with overall inactivity levels. Slovenian primary schools offer access to 77 minutes of in-school physical activity per day combining compulsory PE classes and other compusory physical activities (schools in nature, sport days...), and voluntary extracurricular physical activities, organised in schools.
Research work group Active Healthy Kids Slovenia
A research work 2016 Slovenian Report Card 2016 group (RWG) was assembled, represented by 4 faculties from 2 Slovenian Universities: 1) the Faculty of Mathematics, Natural Sciences, and Information Technologies, University of Primorska; and 2) Faculty of Sport, 3) Medical Faculty; and 4) Biotechnical Faculty, all from the University of Ljubljana. Representation was also secured from the Slovenian Olympic Committee, an elementary school board Headmaster, and Slovenia’s National Institute for Public Health. Thus, the RWG consisted of a diverse, 12-member team, following the suggestions of the Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance International Template and modeled on similar international cards, in particular, the Canadian Report Card released by Active Healthy Kids Canada.
Development of the Report Card occurred over approximately 12 months, including the establishing of cooperation between research institutions, assembly of experts from backgrounds related to childhood PA, data sources identification, data collection and synthesis, and, finally, a critical assessment of the data amassed to identify and grade all 9 PA indicators. Indicators included: 1) Overall Physical Activity, 2) Organized Sport Participation, 3) Active Play, 4) Active Transport, 5) Sedentary Behavior, 6) Family and Peers, 7) Schools, 8) Community and the Built Environment, and 9) Government Strategies and Investments. Feedback from the country mentor on Report Card development was obtained in December 2015, when program coordinators met to identify and evaluate overall sources of health indicators. In January 2016, the RWG team met to discuss the literature, data sources, and future literature review strategies. RWG meetings followed approximately once per month from January 2016, during which the team analyzed the existing data and identified weaknesses in literature and data sources. Team members continued collecting data sources for 2 categories, Family and Peers and Active Play. In March 2016, the RWG met twice for extended grade evaluation meetings.
The Slovenian research group members are:
Shawnda A. Morrison1, Gregor Starc2, Vedrana Sember1, Gregor Jurak2, Marjeta Kovač2, Mojca Golobič3, Poljanka Pavletič Samardžija4, Mojca Gabrijelčič5, Marko Primožič6, Primož Kotnik7, Tjaša Kotar8 in Janet Klara Djomba9.
1 University of Primorska, Faculty for mathematics, , Natural sciences and Information Technologies, 2 University of Ljubljana, Faculty of sports, 3University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical faculty, 4 Slovenian Olympic Comitee, 5 National Institute of Public Health, 6 Elementary School Ivana Groharja Škofja Loka, 7 Pediatric clinic Ljubljana, 8 Ministry of Education, Science and Sport, 9 University of Ljubljana, Medical Faculty.
Results from the Republic of Slovenia’s 2016 Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth is on this link.