Traditional physical activity indexes derived from the Harvard alumni activity survey have low construct validity in a lower income, urban population.

Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA.
Journal of Urban Health (Impact Factor: 1.9). 10/2007; 84(5):722-32. DOI: 10.1007/s11524-007-9212-4
Source: PubMed


The purpose of this study is to investigate the construct validity of the Harvard Alumni Activity Survey (HAAS) in an urban, lower income population. Data were collected from 192 smokers enrolled in an antioxidant micronutrient trial. Activity data were compared to body mass index (BMI), diastolic, and systolic blood pressure. The traditional physical activity index (PAI), using data on stair climbing, walking, and sports, was calculated including and excluding body mass. A new scale, the total weekly activity (TWA) scale, was derived from other questions on the HAAS. The PAI scale calculated with body mass was unassociated with BMI and blood pressure. The PAI scale calculated without body mass was unassociated with BMI and systolic blood pressure but was associated with diastolic blood pressure (Beta = -0.001, p = 0.03). The TWA scale was associated with BMI (Beta = -0.01, p = 0.01), diastolic (Beta = -0.03, p = 0.01), and systolic blood pressure (Beta = -0.04, p = 0.01). A one standard deviation change in the TWA scale is predicted to be equivalent to a change of 0.99 BMI units, 2.97 mmHg of diastolic blood pressure, and 3.96 mmHg of systolic blood pressure. This work suggests that the TWA scale has greater construct validity than the traditional PAI scale in this population.

Download full-text


Available from: Laverne A Mooney, Jan 29, 2015
9 Reads
  • Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention 05/2008; 17(4):1004-6. DOI:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-07-0721 · 4.13 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Many questionnaires have been developed to measure physical activity (PA), but an overview of the measurement properties of PA questionnaires is lacking. A summary of this information is useful for choosing the best questionnaire available. Therefore, the objective of this study was to evaluate and compare measurement properties of self-administered questionnaires assessing PA in adults. We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE and SportDiscus, using 'exercise', 'physical activity', 'motor activity' and 'questionnaire' as keywords. We included studies that evaluated the measurement properties of self-report questionnaires assessing PA. Article selection, data extraction and quality assessment were performed by two independent reviewers. The quality and results of the studies were evaluated using the Quality Assessment of Physical Activity Questionnaires (QAPAQ) checklist. Construct validity, reliability and responsiveness were rated as positive, negative or indeterminate, depending on the methods and results. We included 85 (versions of) questionnaires. Overall, the quality of the studies assessing measurement properties of PA questionnaires was rather poor. Information on content validity was mostly lacking. Construct validity was assessed in 76 of the questionnaires, mostly by correlations with accelerometer data, maximal oxygen uptake or activity diaries. Fifty-one questionnaires were tested for reliability. Only a few questionnaires had sufficient construct validity and reliability, but these need to be further validated. Responsiveness was studied for only two questionnaires and was poor. There is a clear lack of standardization of PA questionnaires, resulting in many variations of questionnaires. No questionnaire or type of questionnaire for assessing PA was superior and therefore could not be strongly recommended above others. In the future, more attention should be paid to the methodology of studies assessing measurement properties of PA questionnaires and the quality of reporting.
    Sports Medicine 07/2010; 40(7):565-600. DOI:10.2165/11531930-000000000-00000 · 5.04 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Physical activity self-report instruments in the US have largely been developed for and validated in White samples. Despite calls to validate existing instruments in more diverse samples, relatively few instruments have been validated in US Blacks. Emerging evidence suggests that these instruments may have differential validity in Black populations. This report reviews and evaluates the validity and reliability of self-reported measures of physical activity in Blacks and makes recommendations for future directions. A systematic literature review was conducted to identify published reports with construct or criterion validity evaluated in samples that included Blacks. Studies that reported results separately for Blacks were examined. The review identified 10 instruments validated in nine manuscripts. Criterion validity correlations tended to be low to moderate. No study has compared the validity of multiple instruments in a single sample of Blacks. There is a need for efforts validating self-report physical activity instruments in Blacks, particularly those evaluating the relative validity of instruments in a single sample.
    International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 10/2010; 7:73. DOI:10.1186/1479-5868-7-73 · 4.11 Impact Factor
Show more