Background: Physical inactivity (PI) is a public health concern around the world that has been growing with the advent of technology. It has often been studied in adults. This study aims to determine the prevalence of physical inactivity in Iranian children aged 10-12 years and the impact of socioeconomic inequality on it.
Methods: In this descriptive study, the study population consisted of 10-12 years old children from an Iranian population from Kurdistan, Fars and Markazi provinces in 2018. The sample size was 1590 individuals. The sampling method was cluster sampling. Data was collected using demographic questionnaire, modifiable activity questionnaire (MAQ) and socioeconomic questionnaire. Linear and logistic regression were used to estimate the final model and the Oaxaca analysis method was applied. All analyses were performed in Stata/SE 14.0.
Results: Of the 1590 participants, 52.82% were male. The results showed that 25.79% of the subjects had physical inactivity and 7.30% had moderate physical activity during the week. The average physical activity during one week was more in boys than in girls (P-value<0.05). Children of mothers with secondary and high school education were more likely to have physical inactivity than mothers with a high school diploma or higher (AOR: 1.35, 95% CI: 1.02 - 1.77). The concentration index was -.11, indicating a greater concentration of physical inactivity in children with low socioeconomic levels.
Results: One-fourth of the study population had physical inactivity in this age group and required serious interventions. Socioeconomic levels, parental literacy, and children’s sex were factors affecting the level of physical activity. Raising parental awareness, designing specific programs for girls, such as increasing access to sports facilities, are strategies to reduce physical inactivity in children.