Limitations on the use of a single screening question to measure sedentary behavior

C. A. Macera, S. A. Ham, D. A. Jones, C. D. Kimsey, B. E. Ainsworth, L. J. Neff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Objectives. This study explored the limitations of identifying sedentary individuals via an existing screening question in a state-based surveillance system. Methods. A national sample (n = 7529) of adults, selected by random-digit dialing between November 1999 and May 2000, responded about participation in leisure-time physical activity. Results. Of those who initially reported no leisure-time physical activity (25%), 85% were engaging in at least some activity, and 20% were engaging in enough moderate- or vigorous-intensity activity to meet health-related recommendations. Conclusions. Public health programs that use only 1 screening question to identify sedentary behavior may not be able to target physical activity messages effectively, especially if physical activity is defined to include a broad range of activities beyond sports.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2010-2012
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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