Iranian Journal of Pediatrics 2010. 20(4):420-426.

A National Experience on Physical Activity Initiatives for Adolescent Girls and Their Mothers: CASPIAN Study
Roya Kelishadi, Vahid Ziaee, Gelayol Ardalan, Ascieh Namazi, Pardis Noormohammadpour, Majid Ghayour-Mobarhan, Hoda Sadraei, Parisa Mirmoghtadaee, Parinaz Poursafa


Objective: To provide a low-cost and simple model of culturally-appropriate and low cost facilities for improvement of physical activity for girls and their mothers through an after-school program and to determine the changes in anthropometric indexes after this trial.

Methods: This national study was conducted in 2006-2007 in 7 provinces with different socioeconomic situations in Iran. Female students who studied in the 7th through 10th grade and their mothers were selected by random cluster sampling. In each province, 24 sessions of after-school aerobic physical activity were held for 90 minutes, two days a week, and 3 months long at school sites in the afternoon.

Findings: The study comprised 410 participants (204 mothers and 206 daughters), with a mean age of 15.86±1.01 and 40.71±6.3 years in girls and their mothers, respectively. The results of the focus group discussions showed that in general, both mothers and daughters were satisfied from the program and found it feasible and successful. After the trial, the indexes of generalized and abdominal obesity improved significantly both in girls and in their mothers (P-value <0.0001 for weight, body mass index and waist circumference).

Conclusion: Our findings may provide a low-cost and simple effective model of motivation for physical activity with targeted interventions for girls and their mothers. We suggest that the success of this trial might be a result of bonding and accompaniment of mothers and daughters. Such model can be integrated in the existing health and education systems to increase the physical activity level.


Physical Activity, Female, Overweight, Public Health, Adolescent,

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