Comparison of the physical activity and sedentary behaviour assessment questionnaire and the short-form international physical activity questionnaire: An analysis of health survey for England data

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Abstract

© 2016 Scholes et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Background The Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Assessment Questionnaire (PASBAQ), used within the Health Survey for England (HSE) at 5-yearly intervals, is not included annually due to funding and interview-length constraints. Policy-makers and data-users are keen to consider shorter instruments such as the Short-form International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) for the annual survey. Both questionnaires were administered in HSE 2012, enabling comparative assessment in a random sample of 1252 adults. Methods Relative agreement using prevalence-adjusted bias-adjusted Kappa (PABAK) statistics was estimated for: sufficient aerobic activity (moderate-to-vigorous physical activity [MVPA] 150minutes/week); inactivity (MVPA < 30minutes/week); and excessive sitting (540minutes/ weekday). Cross-sectional associations with health outcomes were compared across tertiles of MVPA and tertiles of sitting time using logistic regression with tests for linear trend. Results Compared with PASBAQ data, IPAQ-assessed estimates of sufficient aerobic activity and inactivity were higher and lower, respectively; estimates of excessive sitting were higher. Demographic patterns in prevalence were similar. Agreement using PABAK statistics was fair-to-moderate for sufficient aerobic activity (0.32-0.49), moderate-to-substantial for inactivity (0.42-0.74), and moderate-to-substantial for excessive sitting (0.49-0.75). As with the PASBAQ, IPAQ-assessed MVPA and sitting each showed graded associations with mental well-being (women: P for trend = 0.003 and 0.004, respectively) and obesity (women: P for trend = 0.007 and 0.014, respectively). Conclusions Capturing habitual physical activity and sedentary behaviour through brief questionnaires is complex. Differences in prevalence estimates can reflect differences in questionnaire structure and content rather than differences in reported behaviour. Treating all IPAQ-assessed walking as moderate-intensity contributed to the differences in prevalence estimates. PASBAQ data will be used for population surveillance every 4 to 5 years. The current version of the Short-form IPAQ was included in HSE 2013-14 to enable more frequent assessment of physical activity and sedentary behaviour; a modified version with different item-ordering and additional questions on walking-pace and effort was included in HSE 2015.

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Scholes, S., Bridges, S., Fat, L. N., & Mindell, J. S. (2016). Comparison of the physical activity and sedentary behaviour assessment questionnaire and the short-form international physical activity questionnaire: An analysis of health survey for England data. PLoS ONE, 11(3). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0151647

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