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Surveillance of physical activity in the UK is flawed : validation of the health survey for England physical activity questionnaire

Basterfield, L. and Adamson, A.J. and Parkinson, K.N. and Maute, U. and Li, P.X and Reilly, John J (2008) Surveillance of physical activity in the UK is flawed : validation of the health survey for England physical activity questionnaire. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 93 (12). pp. 1054-1058. ISSN 0003-9888

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Abstract

Public health surveillance of physical activity in children in the UK depends on a parent-reported physical activity questionnaire which has not been validated. We aimed to validate this questionnaire against measurement of physical activity using accelerometry in 6–7-year-old children. In 130 children aged 6–7 years (64 boys, 66 girls) we estimated habitual moderate–vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA) using the Health Survey for England parent-report questionnaire for physical activity. For the same time period and the same children, we measured MVPA objectively using 7-day accelerometry with the Actigraph accelerometer. The questionnaire over-estimated MVPA significantly (paired t test, p<0.01). Mean error (bias) when using the questionnaire was 122 min/day (95% CI 124 to 169). Mean time spent in MVPA was 146 min/day (95% CI 124 to 169) using the questionnaire and 24 min/day (95% CI 22 to 26) using the accelerometer. Rank order correlations between MVPA measured by accelerometer and estimated by the questionnaire were not statistically significant. Public health surveillance of physical activity should not rely on this questionnaire. Levels of habitual physical activity in children are likely to be substantially lower than those reported in UK health surveys.

Item type: Article
ID code: 33588
Keywords: behaviour, review, measurement, pre-school, play, infant, Medicine, Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health, Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Subjects: Medicine
Department: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (HaSS) > School of Psychological Science and Health > Physical Activity for Health
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Depositing user: Pure Administrator
Date Deposited: 13 Oct 2011 14:45
Last modified: 05 Sep 2014 10:56
URI: http://strathprints.strath.ac.uk/id/eprint/33588

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