Validity of the Paffenbarger Physical Activity Questionnaire Among Healthy Adults: 2281: Board #158 June 2 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Simpson, Katie FACSM; Parker, Beth A.; Capizzi, Jeff A.; Clarkson, Priscilla M. FACSM; Thompson, Paul D. FACSM; Freedson, Patty S. FACSM; Pescatello, Linda S. FACSM

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: May 2011 - Volume 43 - Issue 5 - pp 608-609
doi: 10.1249/01.MSS.0000401681.86188.51
D-32 Free Communication/Poster - Methods: Self-report: JUNE 2, 2011 1:00 PM - 6:00 PM: ROOM: Hall B

1University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT. 2Hartford Hospital, Hartford, CT. 3University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA.


(No relationships reported)

PURPOSE: Physical activity (PA) questionnaires are used to assess PA because they are simple and inexpensive to administer. The Paffenbarger Physical Activity Questionnaire (PPAQ) is one such questionnaire with limited validation information on question eight (Q8) that reports hr/d spent in different PA intensity levels. We examined the validity of PPAQ Q8 among healthy adults.

METHODS: 170 participants (n=81 men; n=89 women) completed the PPAQ Q8. Health/fitness measures were body mass index (BMI), resting heart rate (HR) and blood pressure (BP), waist circumference (WC), and maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max). Subjects wore an Actical accelerometer (AC) for 4 consecutive week and weekend days. PPAQ Q8 derived measures were self-reported hr/d spent in sedentary (Q8AVGSed), and light (Q8AVGLight), moderate (Q8AVGMod), and vigorous (Q8AVGVig) intensity PA averaged for a typical week and weekend day in the past year. AC derived measures were average counts/d (ACAVGCounts), and % time/d in sedentary (AC%TSed), and light (AC%TLight), moderate (AC%TMod), and vigorous (AC%TVig) intensity PA. Pearson product moment correlation coefficients examined the relationship among PPAQ Q8, AC, and health/fitness measures (Table 1). ANCOVA examined these same associations with age and gender as covariates.

RESULTS: Participants were 37.2±1.2yr with a BMI 26.0±0.4kg/m2, resting HR 70.2±0.9bpm and BP 117.2±1.1/ 74.6±0.8mmHg, WC 85.7±2.8cm, and VO2max 36.6±0.8ml·kg-1·min-1. Q8AVGsed was correlated with AC%Tsed (r=0.221, p=0.004); and Q8AVGmod with AC%Tmod (r=0.256, p=0.001), BMI (r=-0.210 p=0.006), and systolic BP (r=-0.167, p=0.03). Q8AVGvig was correlated with ACAVGcounts (r=0.241, p=0.002), AC%Tvig (r=0.203 p=0.008), and VO2max (r=0.187, p=0.015). ANCOVA models showed age and/or gender modulated the following associations: 1) Q8AVGVig, ACAVGCounts, and age (F=4.218, p=0.001); 2) Q8AVGMod, AC%TMod, age, and gender (F=2.799, p<0.001); 3) Q8AVGMod, BMI, and age (F=5.149, p<0.001); and 4) Q8AVGMod, systolic BP, and age (F=3.938, p=0.002).

CONCLUSIONS: We observed weak, significant associations between PPAQ Q8 and objectively measured PA and health/fitness measures that were dependent upon age and gender. PPAQ Q8 appears to be an adequate tool to profile habitual PA.


© 2011 American College of Sports Medicine