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Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise:
Applied Sciences: Physical Fitness and Performance

An Adult Physical Activity Scoring Scheme: Its Evaluation and Application


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Purpose: The purpose of this paper was to describe the development and evaluation of an adult physical activity (PA) scoring scheme (SS).

Methods: SS was based on the 2000 METs compendium and PA guidance. Scoring credit was assigned to moderate (3–6 METs) or vigorous (>6 METs) activities using a 100-point scale. A point designator for evaluation (80.01–100, good; 51.00–80, needs improvement; and <51, poor) was based on guidance to perform 30 min of moderate activity ≥5 d·wk−1 or 20 min of vigorous activity ≥3 d·wk−1. Activities were scored individually and summed for a final score. PA information was from the Behavioral Risk Surveillance Survey, 2000. Weighted data were analyzed using SAS. Sensitivity and specificity methods were used to evaluate the SS. Fifty-six PA met intensity criteria and were examined for frequency and duration.

Results: Study included adults ≥18 yr (N = 173,980). 71.4% of the men and 67.2% of the women reported moderate or vigorous activity, but only 13.1% of the men and 12.8% of the women received a good score. 48.9% of the men and 41% of the women needed improvement and 9.4% of the men and 13.4% of the women had a poor score. The sensitivity of identifying inactivity was 94 and 95% for inactive men and women, respectively; 92% for identifying both men and women needing improvement; and 79% for men and 90% for women with a poor score. The specificity of getting a good score was 57 and 60% for active men and women, respectively.

Conclusion: SS appropriately assigns scoring credit to moderate and vigorous activities. However, assumptions made for mixed moderate and vigorous activities may misclassify active individuals.

©2005The American College of Sports Medicine


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