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Am J Epidemiol. 2014 Jun 15;179(12):1493-502. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwu087. Epub 2014 May 26.

Age- and sex-specific criterion validity of the health survey for England Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior Assessment Questionnaire as compared with accelerometry.


The criterion validity of the 2008 Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior Assessment Questionnaire (PASBAQ) was examined in a nationally representative sample of 2,175 persons aged ≥16 years in England using accelerometry. Using accelerometer minutes/day greater than or equal to 200 counts as a criterion, Spearman's correlation coefficient (ρ) for PASBAQ-assessed total activity was 0.30 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.25, 0.35) in women and 0.20 (95% CI: 0.15, 0.26) in men. Correlations between accelerometer counts/minute of wear time and questionnaire-assessed relative energy expenditure (metabolic equivalent-minutes/day) were higher in women (ρ = 0.41, 95% CI: 0.36, 0.46) than in men (ρ = 0.32, 95% CI: 0.26, 0.38). Similar correlations were observed for minutes/day spent in vigorous activity (women: ρ = 0.39, 95% CI: 0.33, 0.46; men: ρ = 0.31, 95% CI: 0.26, 0.36) and moderate-to-vigorous activity (women: ρ = 0.42, 95% CI: 0.36, 0.48; men: ρ = 0.38, 95% CI: 0.32, 0.45). Correlations for time spent being sedentary (<100 counts/minute) were 0.30 (95% CI: 0.24, 0.35) and 0.25 (95% CI: 0.19, 0.30) in women and men, respectively. Sedentary behavior correlations showed no sex difference. The validity of sedentary behavior and total physical activity was higher in older age groups, but validity was higher in younger persons for vigorous-intensity activity. The PASBAQ is a useful and valid instrument for ranking individuals according to levels of physical activity and sedentary behavior.


accelerometry; physical activity; questionnaires; sedentary behavior; validation

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