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Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2020 Mar 4;17(1):31. doi: 10.1186/s12966-020-00938-3.

A comparison of self-reported and device measured sedentary behaviour in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Author information

1
Division of Cardiac Prevention and Rehabilitation, University of Ottawa Heart Institute, Ottawa, Canada. stephanie.princeware@canada.ca.
2
Centre for Surveillance and Applied Research, Public Health Agency of Canada, 785 Carling Avenue, Ottawa, K1A 0K9, Canada. stephanie.princeware@canada.ca.
3
Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Community Cardiac Services, Birmingham, United Kingdom.
4
Centre for Active Living, University Centre Shrewsbury, University of Chester, Guildhall, Frankwell Quay, Shrewsbury, United Kingdom.
5
Division of Cardiac Prevention and Rehabilitation, University of Ottawa Heart Institute, Ottawa, Canada.
6
School of Human Kinetics, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada.
7
School of Epidemiology and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada.
8
Department of Applied Human Sciences, University of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, Canada.
9
School of Life and Health Sciences, Aston University, Birmingham, United Kingdom.
10
Health Sciences Library, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Sedentary behaviour (SB) is a risk factor for chronic disease and premature mortality. While many individual studies have examined the reliability and validity of various self-report measures for assessing SB, it is not clear, in general, how self-reported SB (e.g., questionnaires, logs, ecological momentary assessments (EMAs)) compares to device measures (e.g., accelerometers, inclinometers).

OBJECTIVE:

The primary objective of this systematic review was to compare self-report versus device measures of SB in adults.

METHODS:

Six bibliographic databases were searched to identify all studies which included a comparable self-report and device measure of SB in adults. Risk of bias within and across studies was assessed. Results were synthesized using meta-analyses.

RESULTS:

The review included 185 unique studies. A total of 123 studies comprising 173 comparisons and data from 55,199 participants were used to examine general criterion validity. The average mean difference was -105.19 minutes/day (95% CI: -127.21, -83.17); self-report underestimated sedentary time by ~1.74 hours/day compared to device measures. Self-reported time spent sedentary at work was ~40 minutes higher than when assessed by devices. Single item measures performed more poorly than multi-item questionnaires, EMAs and logs/diaries. On average, when compared to inclinometers, multi-item questionnaires, EMAs and logs/diaries were not significantly different, but had substantial amount of variability (up to 6 hours/day within individual studies) with approximately half over-reporting and half under-reporting. A total of 54 studies provided an assessment of reliability of a self-report measure, on average the reliability was good (ICC = 0.66).

CONCLUSIONS:

Evidence from this review suggests that single-item self-report measures generally underestimate sedentary time when compared to device measures. For accuracy, multi-item questionnaires, EMAs and logs/diaries with a shorter recall period should be encouraged above single item questions and longer recall periods if sedentary time is a primary outcome of study. Users should also be aware of the high degree of variability between and within tools. Studies should exert caution when comparing associations between different self-report and device measures with health outcomes.

SYSTEMATIC REVIEW REGISTRATION:

PROSPERO CRD42019118755.

KEYWORDS:

Self-report; device; sedentary behaviour; systematic review

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