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Craig Donnachie, Kate Hunt, Nanette Mutrie, Jason M.R. Gill and Paul Kelly

The capacity of physical activity (PA) measures to detect changes in PA within interventions is crucial. This is the first study to examine the responsiveness of activPAL3 and the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ; Short Form) in detecting PA change during a 12-week group-based, men-only weight management program—Football Fans in Training (FFIT). Participants wore an activPAL3 and completed the IPAQ pre- and post-program (n = 30). Relationships between change scores were assessed by Spearman’s correlations. Mean or median changes in PA were measured using paired samples t-tests and Wilcoxon signed-rank tests. Responsiveness to change was assessed utilizing Standardized Response Mean (SRM). Both device-based and self-report measures demonstrated significant changes pre-post intervention, although these changes were not significantly correlated. The SRM values for changes in activPAL3 metrics were: 0.54 (for MET-mins/day); 0.53 (for step counts/day); and 0.44 (for MVPA/day), indicating a small to medium responsiveness to change. SRM values for changes in IPAQ scores were: 0.59 (for total PA mins/day); 0.54 (for total MET-mins/day); 0.59 (for walking MET-mins/day); 0.38 (for vigorous MET-mins/day); and 0.38 (for moderate MET-mins/day), revealing a small to medium responsiveness to change. These findings reveal that two commonly used device-based and self-report measures demonstrated responsiveness to changes in PA. While inclusion of both device-based and self-report measures is desirable within interventions it is not always feasible. The results from this study support that self-reported measures can detect PA change within behavioral interventions, although may have a tendency to overestimate changes compared with device-based measures on absolute values, but not standardized response values.