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Original Research

Self-Report vs. Objectively Assessed Physical Activity: Which Is Right for Public Health?



62 – 70

Background: To examine the agreement between self-reported and objectively assessed physical activity (PA) according to current public health recommendations. Methods: One-hundred and fourteen British University students wore a combined accelerometer and heart rate monitor (Actiheart; AHR) to estimate 24-hour energy expenditure over 7 consecutive days. Data were extracted based on population-based MET-levels recommended to improve and maintain health. On day eight, participants were randomly assigned to complete either the short-form International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) or the Leisure-Time Exercise Questionnaire (LTEQ). Estimates of duration (IPAQ; N = 46) and frequency (LTEQ; N = 41) of PA were compared to those recorded by the AHR. Results: Bland-Altman analysis showed the mean bias between the IPAQ and AHR to be small for moderate-intensity and total PA, however the 95% limits of agreement (LOA) were wide. The mean number of moderate bouts of PA estimated by the LTEQ was similar to those derived by the AHR but the 95% LOA between the two measures were large. Conclusions: Although self-report questionnaires may provide an approximation of PA at a population level, they may not inform whether an individual is participating in the type, intensity, and amount of PA advocated in current public health recommendations.

Keywords: accelerometry, heart rate monitoring, limits of agreement, method-comparison


Authors: Tom Loney, Martyn Standage, Dylan Thompson, Simon J. Sebire, Sean P. Cumming

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