Validity of a Self-Report Recall Tool for Estimating Sedentary Behavior in Adults

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Sedentary behavior is continuing to emerge as an important target for health promotion. The purpose of this study was to determine the validity of a self-report use of time recall tool, the Multimedia Activity Recall for Children and Adults (MARCA) in estimating time spent sitting/lying, compared with a device-based measure.


Fifty-eight participants (48% female, [mean ± standard deviation] 28 ± 7.4 years of age, 23.9 ± 3.05 kg/m2) wore an activPAL device for 24-h and the following day completed the MARCA. Pearson correlation coefficients (r) were used to analyze convergent validity of the adult MARCA compared with activPAL estimates of total sitting/lying time. Agreement was examined using Bland-Altman plots.


According to activPAL estimates, participants spent 10.4 hr/day [standard deviation (SD) = 2.06] sitting or lying down while awake. The correlation between MARCA and activPAL estimates of total sit/lie time was r = .77 (95% confidence interval = 0.64–0.86; P < .001). Bland-Altman analyses revealed a mean bias of +0.59 hr/day with moderately wide limits of agreement (–2.35 hr to +3.53 hr/day).


This study found a moderate to strong agreement between the adult MARCA and the activPAL, suggesting that the MARCA is an appropriate tool for the measurement of time spent sitting or lying down in an adult population.

The authors are with the Centre for Research on Exercise, Physical Activity, and Health (CRExPAH), School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, Australia.

Gomersall ( is corresponding author.