Physical activity levels in Iranian children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder

Document Type : Research Paper


1 University of Guilan

2 department of kinesiology, sport Studies and physical education, College at Brockport, the state University of New York , USA

3 Sport Sciences Research Institute of Ministry Of Science


Background: Autism spectrum disorder is a neuro-developmental disorder with a significant deficiency in communication characteristics, social interactions and stereotyped behaviors.
Aim: The purpose of this study was to investigate physical activity participation in Iranian children and adolescent with autism spectrum disorders.
Materials and Methods: The research method was descriptive and survey. The statistical samples were 370 children and adolescent with ASD, age 8-20 years from Iran. The international physical activity questionnaire for older children and adolescents used for measuring physical activity levels. Data analyzed by using SPSS23.
Results: The results showed that 73.8% of participants were inactive during the last 7 days; 17.8% of them were active occasionally (1 to 2 times); 6.5% (3 to 4 times) and 1.1% (5 to 6 times) were physically active. During the last 7 days on weekends, 58.2% reported usually sitting position, 22.2% walking or standing, and 14.6% running or active playing and only 1.1% reported lots of running or playing. There was no significant difference in physical activity levels between girls and boys.
Conclusion: The results showed the limited participation in physical activity among Iranian children and adolescents with ASD. This study seems to be a helpful for identifying the patterns and promotion of physical activity.