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Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2009 May;41(5):1020-33. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e31819461c2.

Measurement properties of the Australian Women's Activity Survey.

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  • 1School of Psychology, The University of Queensland, Queensland, Australia.



The Australian Women's Activity Survey (AWAS) was developed based on a systematic review and qualitative research on how to measure activity patterns of women with young children (WYC). AWAS assesses activity performed across five domains (planned activities, employment, child care, domestic responsibilities, and transport) and intensity levels (sitting, light intensity, brisk walking, moderate intensity, and vigorous intensity) in a typical week in the past month. The purpose of this study was to assess the test-retest reliability and criterion validity of the AWAS.


WYC completed the AWAS on two occasions 7 d apart (test-retest reliability protocol) and/or wore a Manufacturing Technology Inc. (MTI) ActiGraph accelerometer for 7 d in between (validity protocol). Forty WYC (mean age 35 +/- 5 yr) completed the test-retest reliability protocol and 75 WYC (mean age 33 +/- 5 yr) completed the validity protocol. Interclass correlation coefficients (ICC) between AWAS administrations and Spearman's correlation coefficients (rs) between AWAS and MTI data were calculated.


AWAS showed good test-retest reliability (ICC = 0.80 (0.65-0.89)) and acceptable criterion validity (rs = 0.28, P = 0.01) for measuring weekly health-enhancing physical activity. AWAS also provided repeatable and valid estimates of sitting time (test-retest reliability, ICC = 0.42 (0.13-0.64); criterion validity, rs = 0.32, (P = 0.006)).


The measurement properties of the AWAS are comparable to those reported for existing self-report measures of physical activity. However, AWAS offers a more comprehensive and flexible alternative for accurately assessing different domains and intensities of activity relevant to WYC. Future research should investigate whether the AWAS is a suitable measure of intervention efficacy by examining its sensitivity to change.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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