Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

Validity and Reliability of International Physical Activity Questionnaire-Short Form in Chinese Youth

Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

Validity and Reliability of International Physical Activity Questionnaire-Short Form in Chinese Youth

Article excerpt

Purpose: The psychometric profiles of the widely used International Physical Activity Questionnaire--Short Form (IPAQ-SF) in Chinese youth have not been reported. The purpose of this study was to examine the validity and reliability of the IPAQ-SF using a sample of Chinese youth. Method: One thousand and twenty-one youth ([M.sub.age] = 14.26 [+ or -] 1.63 years, 52.8% boys) from 11 cities in China wore accelerometers for 7 consecutive days and completed the IPAQ-SF on the 8th day to recall their physical activity (PA) during accelerometer-wearing days. A subsample of 92 youth ([M.sub.age] = 15.90 [+ or -] 1.35 years, 46.7% boys) completed the IPAQ-SF again a week later to recall their PA during accelerometer-wearing days. Differences in PA estimated by the IPAQ-SF and accelerometer were examined by paired-sample t test. Spearman correlation coefficients were used to examine the correlation between the IPAQ-SF and accelerometer. Test-retest reliability of the IPAQ-SF was determined by the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC). Results: Compared with accelerometer, the IPAQ-SF overestimated sedentary time, moderate PA (MPA), vigorous PA (VPA), and moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA). Correlations between PA (total PA, MPA, VPA, and MVPA) and sedentary time measured by 2 instruments ranged from "none" to "low" ([rho] = .08-.31). Test-retest ICC of the IPAQ-SF ranged from "moderate" to "high" (ICC = .43-.83), except for sitting in boys (ICC = .06), sitting for the whole sample (ICC = .32), and VPA in girls (ICC = .35). Conclusion: The IPAQ-SF was not a valid instrument for measuring PA and sedentary behavior in Chinese youth.

Keywords: accelerometer, adolescent, assessment, validation


Reliable and valid measurement of habitual physical activity (PA) is essential for all studies on PA, such as identifying the causal relations between PA and health outcomes, monitoring the prevalence and differences in PA between individuals, evaluating the effects of PA interventions, and establishing public health recommendations (Lagerros & Lagiou, 2007). Commonly used methods to measure PA include self-report questionnaires, indirect calorimetry, direct observation, heart rate telemetry, and movement sensors. Relative to objective measures of PA, subjective measures such as questionnaires are of particular value in that they are relatively inexpensive and convenient and can be self-administered, which makes them a more suitable method for assessment of PA in populations (Ainsworth et al., 2012).

Numerous questionnaires have recently been developed for measuring PA in children and youth (e.g., Biddle, Gorely, Pearson, & Bull, 2011; Chinapaw, Mokkink, van Poppel, van Mechelen, & Terwee, 2010; Helmerhorst, Brage, Warren, Besson, & Ekelund, 2012). Given the discrepancy in PA measurements provided by different questionnaires, it is difficult to compare results across studies. To address the demand for a comparable PA instrument, a set of standardized international PA questionnaires (the International Physical Activity Questionnaire [IPAQ]) was developed (Craig et al., 2003). The IPAQ was designed to assess PA of adults (aged 18-65 years old) and has a short (7 items) and a long form (31 items). The IPAQ-Short Form (IPAQ-SF) measures the frequency and duration of moderate PA (MPA), vigorous PA (VPA), walking, and sedentary behavior (SB) using 7 questions and is considered more suitable for population surveillance and large-scale studies compared with the long form (Craig et al., 2003). The 1PAQ-SF was validated for adults in 12 countries and was shown to have adequate test-retest reliability (Spearman [rho] = .76) and convergent validity against accelerometer (Spearman [rho] = .30; Craig et al., 2003).

The IPAQ-SF has been modified to measure habitual PA of youth in Vietnam and Norway (Lachat et al., 2008; Rangul, Holmen, Kurtze, Cuypers, & Midthjell, 2008). Lachat and colleagues (2008) reported that the reliability (intraclass correlation coefficient [ICC] = . …

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