Validity and reliability of self-reported physical activity status: The Lipid Research Clinics questionnaire

Barbara E. Ainsworth, David R. Jacobs, Arthur S. Leon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

244 Scopus citations


We assessed the validity and reliability of the Lipid Research Clinics (LRC) physical activity (PA) questionnaire against measures of PA and physical fitness, and compared a new scoring system (four-point) with the method used in the LRC studies (two-point) in 28 men and 50 women. The two-point method classified participants as inactive or active based one question about regular, strenuous exercise habits. The four-point method classified participants as very low, low, moderate, and high active based on two questions; regular, strenuous exercise and self-rating of PA relative to peers. After adjusting for age and gender, the four-point method explained 17-29% of the variation in VO2max, percent body fat, and heavy-and light-intensity kcal-d”1 measured by the 4 wk history questionnaire (FWH). No association was found between the LRC ratings and Caltrac kcal and activity units and FWH total, moderate-intensity, and household PA kcal. d−1. Test-retest reliability was high (two-point, r = 0.85; four-point, r = 0.88). The LRC PA questionnaire is a relatively valid and reliable indicator of heavy PA in adults. The four-point method. increases the ability to show graded associations between measures of cardiorespiratory fitness, body fatness, and leisure time PA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)92-98
Number of pages7
JournalMedicine and science in sports and exercise
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1993



  • Caltrac accelerometer
  • Energy expenditure
  • Leisure time physical activity
  • Physical activity questionnaire
  • Validity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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