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Background:

Little information exists regarding the psychometric properties of question 8 (Q8) of the Paffenbarger Physical Activity Questionnaire (PPAQ) to assess exercise. Thus, we conducted 2 studies to assess the validity and test–retest reliability of Q8 among adults.

Methods:

Study 1 participants (n = 419) were 44.1 ± 16.1 years of age. Validity was determined by comparing self-reported hr·d−1 in sedentary, light, moderate, and vigorous intensity physical activity (PA) and MET-hr·wk−1 on Q8 at baseline to accelerometer and health/fitness measurements using Spearman rank-order correlations. Study 2 participants (n = 217) were 44.7 ± 16.3 years of age and completed Q8 at baseline, 3 months, and 6 months. Test–retest reliability was determined using repeated measures analysis of covariance, intraclass correlations (ICCs), and standard error of the measurement (SEM).

Results:

Q8 displayed good criterion validity compared with accelerometer measurements (r = .102 to .200, P < .05) and predictive validity compared with health/fitness measurements (r = –.272 to .203, P < .05). No differences were observed in self-reported hr·d−1 in any of the PA categories at baseline, 3 months, and 6 months (ICC: 0.49 to 0.68; SEM: 1.0 to 2.0; P > .05), indicating good reliability.

Conclusion:

Q8 demonstrates adequate criterion validity, acceptable predictive validity, and satisfactory test–retest reliability and can be used in conjunction with other components of the PPAQ to provide a complete representation of exercise.

Simpson (katie.simpson1@us.army.mil) is with the Dept of Kinesiology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT. Parker, Capizzi, and Thompson are with the Dept of Preventive Cardiology, Hartford Hospital, Hartford, CT. Clarkson and Freedson are with the Dept of Kinesiology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA. Pescatello is with the School of Allied Health, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT.