Background: Evidence suggests there is a prevalence of sedentary lifestyle in students and adolescents. Physical activity is a crucial factor during childhood and adolescence for health promotion and prevention of chronic diseases during adulthood. The aim of this study was to investigate the level of physical activity in the elementary students of Hamadan province.
Methods: In this descriptive and cross-sectional study, statistical populations included all the elementary students (N=161846) of Hamadan province in the academic year of 2020-2021. Through stratified random sampling, 1879 students were chosen. Data were gathered using the Physical Activity Questionnaire for Older Children and Adolescents, which validity and reliability have both been confirmed. The data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics such as Kolmogorov–Smirnov, one way ANOVA, Independent t test, and Mann–Whitney U in SPSS software.
Results: The mean±SD scores of the total sample (1879 students) in the variables of physical activity was 2.97±0.749. The result of Mann–Whitney U test showed no significant difference in the medians related to the physical activity level of students (boys: Median=3.03, IQR=1.05; girls: Median: 2.91, IQR=1.02, P=0.213). There were no significant differences between the physical activity of elementary students and their fathers’ education (lower than high school education=2.92±0.76, high school diploma=3±0.71, associate degree=3.03±0.68, bachelor’s degree=2.92±0.717, higher education=3.05±0.85, P=0.1), mothers’ education (Under-diploma=2.94±0.73, diploma=2.97±0.74, associate=3.02±0.66, bachelor=2.89±0.72, higher education=2.97±0.74, P=0.477), fathers’ job (P=0.422), and mothers’ job (P=0.122).
Conclusions: The results showed that a high percentage of students had moderate and low levels of physical activity. Ultimately, it is necessary for managers and authorities to have an educational plan to educate students regarding the promotion of their physical activity.