Can the IPAQ-Long be Used to Assess Occupational Physical Activity?

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Background:

To be able to draw any conclusions regarding the health effects of occupational physical activity (OPA), more information is needed regarding valid measures to assess OPA. Aims were to compare OPA as assessed with the International Physical Activity Questionnaire long version (IPAQ-L) with OPA assessed with an accelerometer and to assess the contribution of OPA to total PA.

Methods:

Working adults (n = 441; mean age = 49.4 yrs; 44% males) wore an accelerometer for 7 days in free-living situations and completed the IPAQ-L. Comparisons were made between IPAQ-L-work and accelerometer data limited to working time (Moderate and Vigorous PA (accelerometer-MVPA-work) and average intensity). Subgroup analyses were performed.

Results:

Spearman correlation was r = .46 (P < .01) between IPAQ-L-work and accelerometer-MVPA-work. Correlations ranged from r = .27 to r = .55 in respectively obese and overweight subjects. The contribution of IPAQ-L-work to IPAQ-total was 24.7%.

Conclusions:

The IPAQ-L work domain is a moderately good measure of time spent on MVPA at work and can be used to assess the contribution of OPA to total PA. This study provides valuable information regarding the use of the IPAQ-L in assessing work domain specific PA, and underscores the importance of assessing OPA, as it can contribute for a substantial part to total PA.

Kwak and Sjostrom are with the Dept of Biosciences, Karo-linska Institute, Huddinge, Stockholm, Sweden. Hagströmer is with the Dept of Neurobiology, Care Sciences, and Society, Karolinska Institute, Huddinge, Stockholm, Sweden.