Objective
To examine the validity of the Recent Physical Activity Questionnaire (RPAQ) which assesses physical activity (PA) in 4 domains (leisure, work, commuting, home) during past month.

Methods
580 men and 1343 women from 10 European countries attended 2 visits at which PA energy expenditure (PAEE), time at moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) and sedentary time were measured using individually-calibrated combined heart-rate and movement sensing. At the second visit, RPAQ was administered electronically. Validity was assessed using agreement analysis.

Results
RPAQ significantly underestimated PAEE in women [median(IQR) 34.1 (22.1, 52.2) vs. 40.6 (32.4, 50.9) kJ/kg/day, 95%LoA: −44.4, 63.4 kJ/kg/day) and in men (43.7 (29.0, 69.0) vs. 45.5 (34.1, 57.6) kJ/kg/day, 95%LoA: −47.2, 101.3 kJ/kg/day]. Using individualised definition of 1MET, RPAQ significantly underestimated MVPA in women [median(IQR): 62.1 (29.4, 124.3) vs. 73.6 (47.8, 107.2) min/day, 95%LoA: −130.5, 305.3 min/day] and men [82.7 (38.8, 185.6) vs. 83.3 (55.1, 125.0) min/day, 95%LoA: −136.4, 400.1 min/day]. Correlations (95%CI) between subjective and objective estimates were statistically significant [PAEE: women, rho = 0.20 (0.15–0.26); men, rho = 0.37 (0.30–0.44); MVPA: women, rho = 0.18 (0.13–0.23); men, rho = 0.31 (0.24–0.39)]. When using non-individualised definition of 1MET (3.5 mlO2/kg/min), MVPA was substantially overestimated (∼30 min/day). Revisiting occupational intensity assumptions in questionnaire estimation algorithms with occupational group-level empirical distributions reduced median PAEE-bias in manual (25.1 kJ/kg/day vs. −9.0 kJ/kg/day, p<0.001) and heavy manual workers (64.1 vs. −4.6 kJ/kg/day, p<0.001) in an independent hold-out sample.

Conclusion
Relative validity of RPAQ-derived PAEE and MVPA is comparable to previous studies but underestimation of PAEE is smaller. Electronic RPAQ may be used in large-scale epidemiological studies including surveys, providing information on all domains of PA

Direct Link: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0092829

Journal: PloS one. 2014 Mar 25;9(3):e92829

Keywords: bioenergetics, exercise, Heart Rate, Physical Activity, questionnaires, Sedentary behaviour, validity,

Applications: Physical Activity,

CamNtech Reference: AH14001

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