EASON, K. E., L. C. MÂSSE, S. H. KELDER, and S. R. TORTOLERO. Diary days needed to estimate activity among older African-American and Hispanic women. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 34, No. 8, pp. 1308–1315, 2002.
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to estimate variation in energy expenditure among older African-American and Hispanic female workers and nonworkers, and identify the number of days of diary self-report necessary to reliably estimate activity.
Methods: 227 women (111 African-American, 116 Hispanic) from the Women On The Move study completed a 7-d diary and were used in the analysis for this study (mean age 49.3 yr, SD = 7.0; mean weight 77.0 kg, SD = 17.6 kg; mean BMI 30, SD = 6.5). Kcal per day for total activity and specific types of activity were calculated for each subject and used in generalizability analyses.
Results: Results indicated that 11 d of activity are needed to reliably estimate total activity for African-American nonworkers and 8 d for Hispanic nonworkers. For workers, 12 d of activity are needed to reliably estimate total activity for African-Americans and 14 d are required for Hispanics. Days of diary self-report required by activity type for African-Americans range from 6 to 48 for nonworkers and from 6 to 30 for workers. For Hispanics, days of diary self-report required by activity type range from 8 to 111 for nonworkers and 7 to 42 for workers.
Conclusions: The results of this study indicate the need for more than 7 d of diary self-report to achieve reliable estimates of total activity in older African-American and Hispanic women. The study also found that certain types of activity could be reliably estimated in less than 7 d. However, when there is less variability in the measure/behavior, the reliability is expected to be less and more measurement days are needed to achieve a desired level of reliability.