Assessment of the accuracy of physical activity questionnaire occupational data

Barbara E. Ainsworth, Arthur S. Leon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

96 Scopus citations


The validity and reliability of occupational physical activity data from survey instruments were determined in 75 men and women (age 23 to 59 years) in white-collar jobs. Data were validated against measures of cardiorespiratory fitness, body fatness, motion detection, pulmonary function, and 12 days of occupational physical activity records. More than 90% of occupational physical activity was spent in light-intensity sitting, standing, and walking. Test-retest reliability was high for most occupational questions (r ≥.63, P <.05). Correlation coefficients between questionnaire data and validation criteria that reflect heavy-intensity physical activity were low (r <.17, P >.05). The modified Tecumseh Occupational Questionnaire and Seven-Day Recall, which classified occupational physical activity in hours per week worked and average level of ratio of associated metabolic rate for a specific activity divided by the resting metabolic rate, on the job, correlated best with physical activity records (r =.11 to.47). Validation of these selfadministered questionnaires in populations with a greater diversity of jobs and occupational energy requirements is needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1017-1027
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Occupational Medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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