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What physical activity surveillance needs: validity of a single-item questionnaire


Wanner, Miriam; Probst-Hensch, Nicole; Kriemler, Susi; Meier, Flurina; Bauman, Adrian; Martin, Brian W (2014). What physical activity surveillance needs: validity of a single-item questionnaire. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 48(21):1570-1576.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Self-report instruments to assess physical activity are still the most feasible option in many population-wide surveys, and often need to be very short owing to resource constraints. The aim of this study was to test the criterion validity of a single-item physical activity measure using accelerometers and to compare its measurement properties by gender, age group (including older adults) and language region. METHODS: A validation study was carried out within the second follow-up of a large Swiss cohort study (Swiss Cohort Study on Air Pollution and Lung and Heart Disease in Adults, SAPALDIA, n=208) and included an additional convenient sample (n=110). Participants wore an accelerometer over eight consecutive days and then completed the single-item measure. Spearman's rank-order correlations were used to assess the criterion validity. RESULTS: Physical activity levels were higher in men, younger individuals and those from the German-speaking part of Switzerland. Correlation coefficients for the number of days with at least 30 min of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity according to the single item and different accelerometer activity outcomes ranged from 0.40 to 0.54. Correlations were higher for women, younger individuals and participants from the French-speaking and the Italian-speaking parts. CONCLUSIONS: The single-item physical activity measure performed at least as well as other physical activity questionnaires. The differences in criterion validity between sub groups indicate that factors such as gender and age should be taken into account when developing physical activity questionnaires and in future validation studies.

BACKGROUND: Self-report instruments to assess physical activity are still the most feasible option in many population-wide surveys, and often need to be very short owing to resource constraints. The aim of this study was to test the criterion validity of a single-item physical activity measure using accelerometers and to compare its measurement properties by gender, age group (including older adults) and language region. METHODS: A validation study was carried out within the second follow-up of a large Swiss cohort study (Swiss Cohort Study on Air Pollution and Lung and Heart Disease in Adults, SAPALDIA, n=208) and included an additional convenient sample (n=110). Participants wore an accelerometer over eight consecutive days and then completed the single-item measure. Spearman's rank-order correlations were used to assess the criterion validity. RESULTS: Physical activity levels were higher in men, younger individuals and those from the German-speaking part of Switzerland. Correlation coefficients for the number of days with at least 30 min of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity according to the single item and different accelerometer activity outcomes ranged from 0.40 to 0.54. Correlations were higher for women, younger individuals and participants from the French-speaking and the Italian-speaking parts. CONCLUSIONS: The single-item physical activity measure performed at least as well as other physical activity questionnaires. The differences in criterion validity between sub groups indicate that factors such as gender and age should be taken into account when developing physical activity questionnaires and in future validation studies.

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7 citations in Web of Science®
11 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (EBPI)
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:November 2014
Deposited On:18 Sep 2013 11:21
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 16:59
Publisher:BMJ Publishing Group
ISSN:0306-3674
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2012-092122
PubMed ID:23770662
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-81061

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