Public Health Nutrition

Research Article

The International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ): a study of concurrent and construct validity

Maria Hagströmera1a2 c1, Pekka Ojaa1 and Michael Sjöströma1

a1 Unit for Preventive Nutrition – Novum, Department of Biosciences, Karolinska Institutet, S-141 57 Huddinge, Sweden

a2 Division of Physiotherapy, Department of Neurotec, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract

Introduction The International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) was developed to measure health-related physical activity (PA) in populations. The short version of the IPAQ has been tested extensively and is now used in many international studies. The present study aimed to explore the validity characteristics of the long-version IPAQ.

Subjects and methods Forty-six voluntary healthy male and female subjects (age, mean±standard deviation: 40.7±10.3 years) participated in the study. PA indicators derived from the long, self-administered IPAQ were compared with data from an activity monitor and a PA log book for concurrent validity, and with aerobic fitness, body mass index (BMI) and percentage body fat for construct validity.

Results Strong positive relationships were observed between the activity monitor data and the IPAQ data for total PA (ρ = 0.55, P < 0.001) and vigorous PA (ρ = 0.71, P < 0.001), but a weaker relationship for moderate PA (ρ = 0.21, P = 0.051). Calculated MET-h day−1 from the PA log book was significantly correlated with MET-h day−1 from the IPAQ (ρ = 0.67, P < 0.001). A weak correlation was observed between IPAQ data for total PA and both aerobic fitness (ρ = 0.21, P = 0.051) and BMI (ρ = 0.25, P = 0.009). No significant correlation was observed between percentage body fat and IPAQ variables. Bland–Altman analysis suggested that the inability of activity monitors to detect certain types of activities might introduce a source of error in criterion validation studies.

Conclusions The long, self-administered IPAQ questionnaire has acceptable validity when assessing levels and patterns of PA in healthy adults.

(Received July 07 2005)

(Accepted November 08 2005)

Correspondence

c1 *Corresponding author: Email maria.hagstromer@prevnut.ki.se

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