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      Validation of the Global Physical Activity Questionnaire for self-administration in a European context


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          Little is known about the measurement properties of the self-administered Global Physical Activity Questionnaire (GPAQ) in Europe. The aim was to validate the self-administered GPAQ against accelerometry in Switzerland in German, French and Italian.


          Participants of this cross-sectional study were recruited among members of the Swiss Food Panel (German-speaking and French-speaking samples) and as a convenience sample (Italian-speaking sample). They completed the GPAQ and wore an Actigraph GT3X+ accelerometer during 7 days in 2014/2015. GPAQ and accelerometer data on total physical activity and different intensities, as well as sitting time, were compared using Spearman correlations and Bland-Altman plots.


          Complete data were available for 354 participants (50.6% women, mean age: 47.0 years) on physical activity, and for 366 on sitting time. Correlations were highest for vigorous physical activity (r=0.46) and sitting time (r=0.47). A significant sex difference was apparent for vigorous physical activity (men: r=0.35 vs women: r=0.55; p=0.02). Some age differences were present especially for total physical activity, with the lowest correlations found for those aged 60+ years. The correlation for sitting time was significantly higher in the youngest age group (r=0.61) compared with the middle (r=0.38, p=0.01) and the oldest age groups (r=0.37, p=0.03). Total physical activity was 2.8 times higher according to the GPAQ than to accelerometer data.


          The self-administered version of the GPAQ showed fair-to-moderate validity in the three languages tested, both for men and women and individuals aged ≤60 years. For older individuals, a careful interpretation of total physical activity is required.

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          Global physical activity questionnaire (GPAQ): nine country reliability and validity study.

          Instruments to assess physical activity are needed for (inter)national surveillance systems and comparison. Male and female adults were recruited from diverse sociocultural, educational and economic backgrounds in 9 countries (total n = 2657). GPAQ and the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) were administered on at least 2 occasions. Eight countries assessed criterion validity using an objective measure (pedometer or accelerometer) over 7 days. Reliability coefficients were of moderate to substantial strength (Kappa 0.67 to 0.73; Spearman's rho 0.67 to 0.81). Results on concurrent validity between IPAQ and GPAQ also showed a moderate to strong positive relationship (range 0.45 to 0.65). Results on criterion validity were in the poor-fair (range 0.06 to 0.35). There were some observed differences between sex, education, BMI and urban/rural and between countries. Overall GPAQ provides reproducible data and showed a moderate-strong positive correlation with IPAQ, a previously validated and accepted measure of physical activity. Validation of GPAQ produced poor results although the magnitude was similar to the range reported in other studies. Overall, these results indicate that GPAQ is a suitable and acceptable instrument for monitoring physical activity in population health surveillance systems, although further replication of this work in other countries is warranted.
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            Assessment of physical activity by self-report: status, limitations, and future directions.

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              Physical activity questionnaires for adults: a systematic review of measurement properties.

              Many questionnaires have been developed to measure physical activity (PA), but an overview of the measurement properties of PA questionnaires is lacking. A summary of this information is useful for choosing the best questionnaire available. Therefore, the objective of this study was to evaluate and compare measurement properties of self-administered questionnaires assessing PA in adults. We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE and SportDiscus, using 'exercise', 'physical activity', 'motor activity' and 'questionnaire' as keywords. We included studies that evaluated the measurement properties of self-report questionnaires assessing PA. Article selection, data extraction and quality assessment were performed by two independent reviewers. The quality and results of the studies were evaluated using the Quality Assessment of Physical Activity Questionnaires (QAPAQ) checklist. Construct validity, reliability and responsiveness were rated as positive, negative or indeterminate, depending on the methods and results. We included 85 (versions of) questionnaires. Overall, the quality of the studies assessing measurement properties of PA questionnaires was rather poor. Information on content validity was mostly lacking. Construct validity was assessed in 76 of the questionnaires, mostly by correlations with accelerometer data, maximal oxygen uptake or activity diaries. Fifty-one questionnaires were tested for reliability. Only a few questionnaires had sufficient construct validity and reliability, but these need to be further validated. Responsiveness was studied for only two questionnaires and was poor. There is a clear lack of standardization of PA questionnaires, resulting in many variations of questionnaires. No questionnaire or type of questionnaire for assessing PA was superior and therefore could not be strongly recommended above others. In the future, more attention should be paid to the methodology of studies assessing measurement properties of PA questionnaires and the quality of reporting.

                Author and article information

                BMJ Open Sport Exerc Med
                BMJ Open Sport Exerc Med
                BMJ Open Sport — Exercise Medicine
                BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine (BMA House, Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9JR )
                8 May 2017
                : 3
                : 1
                : e000206
                [1 ] departmentCancer Registry Zurich and Zug , University Hospital Zurich , Zurich, Switzerland
                [2 ] Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute, University of Zurich , Zurich, Switzerland
                [3 ] departmentDepartment of Health Sciences and Technology , Institute for Environmental Decisions, ETH Zurich , Zurich, Switzerland
                [4 ] departmentDepartment of Health Sciences and Technology , Institute of Human Movement Sciences, ETH Zurich , Zurich, Switzerland
                [5 ] departmentDepartment of Health , Canton Basel-Landschaft , Liestal, Switzerland
                Author notes
                [Correspondence to ] Dr Miriam Wanner; miriam.wanner@ 123456uzh.ch
                Author information
                © Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2017. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise expressly granted.

                This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

                : 27 March 2017
                Funded by: Swiss Federal Office of Public Health;
                Original Article
                Original research
                Custom metadata

                measurement,physical activity,validity,accelerometer
                measurement, physical activity, validity, accelerometer


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