Test-retest reliability of physical activity measures used in Australian population surveys

Brown, Wendy J., Trost, Stewart G., Bauman, Adrian E., Mummery, Kerry, & Owen, Neville (2003) Test-retest reliability of physical activity measures used in Australian population surveys. In American College of Sports Medicine 50th Annual Meeting, 28-31 May, 2003, San Francisco, CA.

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Accurate monitoring of prevalence and trends in population levels of physical activity is fundamental to the planning of health promotion and disease-prevention strategies. Test-retest reliability (repeatability) was assessed for four self-report measures of physical activity commonly used in population surveys: the Active Australia survey (AA, N=356), the short form of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ-S, N=104), the physical activity items in the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS, N=127) and the physical activity items in the Australian National Health Survey (NHS, N=122).


Percent agreement and Kappa statistics were used to assess the reliability of classification of activity status (where ‘active’= 150 minutes of activity per week) and sedentariness (where ‘sedentary’ = reporting no physical activity). Intraclass correlations (ICCs) were used to assess agreement on minutes of activity reported for each item of each survey and on total minutes reported in each survey.


Percent agreement scores for both activity status and sedentariness were very good on all four instruments. Overall the percent agreement between repeated surveys was between 73% (NHS) and 87% (IPAQ) for the criterion measure of achieving 150 minutes per week, and between 77% (NHS) and 89% (IPAQ) for the criterion of being sedentary. Corresponding Kappa statistics ranged from 0.46 (NHS) to 0.61 (AA) for activity status and from 0.20 (BRFSS) to 0.52 (AA) for sedentariness. For the individual items ICCs were highest for walking (0.45 to 0.56) and vigorous activity (0.22 to 0.64) and lowest for the moderate questions (0.16 to 0.44).


All four measures provide acceptable levels of test-retest reliability for assessing both activity status and sedentariness, and moderate reliability for assessing total minutes of activity. Supported by the Australian Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing.

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ID Code: 72588
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: No
Additional Information: Abstract published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 35(5), Supplement 1, pp. S339.
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Deposited On: 04 Jun 2014 23:37
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2014 23:37

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