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The study of Iranian children and adolescents’ physical activity: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Adel Alizadeh, Reza Negarandeh ORCID logo, Fahimehe Bagheri Amiri and Zahra Yazdani



This systematic and meta-analysis review was conducted to determine the status of Iranian children and adolescents’ physical activity.


All the related articles which were published in the major databases, including Pubmed, Scopus, Web of Science, Embase, Magiran, SID from the beginning of 2010 to the end of 2019, were reviewed by researchers. The Newcastle-Ottawa scale was also used to evaluate the quality of articles. Moreover, I2 index and chi-square were used to assess the heterogeneity between the results.


490 articles were found as a result of the search in the selected international and local databases, where finally, 10 articles were included into the meta-analysis after the elimination of the duplicated articles and applying inclusion and exclusion criteria. The results indicated that 29.5% of the girls were considered active according to WHO criteria (16.1–42.8: 95% CI) and also 20.5% of the boys (7.3–33.7: 95% CI).


Overall, this study’s findings showed that a large percentage of Iranian children and adolescents do not achieve the level of physical activity recommended by the World Health Organization. This can lead to undesirable consequences for this group of population that is considered as the human capital of any country; consequently, it seems necessary to take basic measures at the micro and macro levels in order to reduce such problems in the society.

Corresponding author: Reza Negarandeh, Nursing and Midwifery Care Research Center, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Nosrat St., Tohid Sq., 1419733171, Tehran, Iran, Phone/Fax: +98 (21) 61054581, E-mail:

Funding source: Nursing and Midwifery Care Research Center of Tehran University of Medical Sciences

Award Identifier / Grant number: 98-02-99-43325


The authors would like to thank the Tehran University of Medical Sciences for financial support. The researchers would like to thank all the authors whose articles were used in this study.

  1. Research funding: This research has been funded by Nursing and Midwifery Care Research Center of Tehran University of Medical Sciences (Grant no. 98-02-99-43325).

  2. Author contributions: All authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this manuscript and approved its submission.

  3. Competing interests: Authors state no conflict of interest.

  4. Informed consent: Not applicable.

  5. Ethical approval: The Institute Review Board also approved it in terms of observing the ethical codes (no. IR.TUMS.VCR.REC.1398.569).


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Received: 2020-12-17
Accepted: 2021-03-25
Published Online: 2021-04-13

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