Assessment of the accuracy of physical activity questionnaire occupational data

Barbara E. Ainsworth, Arthur S. Leon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Scopus citations


The validity and reliability of occupational physical activity data from survey instruments were determined in 75 men and women (age 23 to 59 years) in white-collar jobs. Data were validated against measures of cardiorespiratory fitness, body fatness, motion detection, pulmonary function, and 12 days of occupational physical activity records. More than 90% of occupational physical activity was spent in light-intensity sitting, standing, and walking. Test-retest reliability was high for most occupational questions (r ≥.63, P <.05). Correlation coefficients between questionnaire data and validation criteria that reflect heavy-intensity physical activity were low (r <.17, P >.05). The modified Tecumseh Occupational Questionnaire and Seven-Day Recall, which classified occupational physical activity in hours per week worked and average level of ratio of associated metabolic rate for a specific activity divided by the resting metabolic rate, on the job, correlated best with physical activity records (r =.11 to.47). Validation of these selfadministered questionnaires in populations with a greater diversity of jobs and occupational energy requirements is needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1017-1027
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Occupational Medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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