Document Type : original article


1 Assistant Professor, Department of Physical Education, Maragheh Branch, Islamic Azad University, Maragheh, Iran.

2 Visiting Scholar, Department of Public Health, Kinesiology Indiana University, USA

3 Department of Physical education, Islamshahr branch, Islamic Azad University, Islamshahr, iran

4 Assistant Professor, Department of Physical Education, North Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran


Background and Aim: An important determinant of health and wellbeing is socioeconomic status as it can influence an individual’s exposure to several risk factors across the lifespan. Self-reported studies showed that parental socioeconomic status is associated with physical activity in children. However, previous studies used self-reported questionnaire to measure physical activity. Due to limitations of self-reporting methods, we aimed to assess association between parental socioeconomic status with accelerometer-measured physical activity among children. Motivation was included as a mediator.

Method: 126 participants (45 girls, mean age of 10.92±1.89 years) wore the accelerometer for seven consecutive days. Parental socioeconomic status was measured by two items, namely, parents’ education level and household income. Intrinsic Motivation Scale was used to measure motivation. Structural equation modelling was used to analyze data.

Results: 93% or our sample were at medium level of parental socioeconomic status. Accelerometer data demonstrated that children spent 74.29% of the total time in sedentary, 17.20% in light physical activity, and 8.81% in MVPA. On average, the daily time spent in MVPA was 45.19 minutes per day, which is below the WHO guideline. In fact, 27.7% (n=35) of children fulfilled the guideline. The results showed that parental socioeconomic status had significant effects on motivation (T=4.129) and MVPA (T=5.097). Moreover, motivation had significant effect on MVPA (T=2.679). Finally, motivation significantly mediated the association between socioeconomic status and MVPA (P<0.001).

Conclusion: These findings, together, indicate that socioeconomic status of parents and physical activity are critical concerns for children. Accordingly, it is necessary to increase the level of socioeconomic status of parents.