Last year I received an email from a colleague asking if I could suggest any particular questionnaire for the measurement of sedentary behaviour. I emailed the list-serve of the Sedentary Behaviour Research Network (SBRN) to ask for input and got a wealth of responses (13 so far, and the list continues to grow). I put them into a list just before the holidays, and they are all now available via the SBRN website.
I thought it would be a good idea to also publish the list here on Obesity Panacea (feel free to share it widely). If you have been looking for a way to assess sedentary behaviour in an upcoming study then this list is for you! And if you aren’t sure whether you should use a questionnaire or a more objective measure of sedentary time, this previous post by Dr Dylan Cliff is likely to be of use. I also highly recommend this systematic review paper by David Lubans and colleagues, which evaluates the validity and reliability of sedentary behaviour questionnaires in the pediatric age group specifically.
The below questionnaires aren’t listed in any particular order (they are posted in the order in which they were received) but I’ve given a few details about each questionnaire to help you figure out which one is best suited for a given study. The questionnaires vary in terms of the type of sedentary behaviour (total sedentary time, occupational sedentary behaviours, home-based sedentary behaviours, TV viewing, driving time, etc) and their target population (kids, adults, older adults, and hospitalized populations, etc). So regardless of your particular study, there should be a questionnaire that will meet your needs.
If you know of any other questionnaires that I’ve missed, please send them along via email or as a comment below. I will do my best to keep the list updated moving forward. And to join the SBRN list-serve (it’s free!) click here.
Sedentary Behaviour Questionnaires
1. Bouchard Physical Activity Questionnaire
Description: 3-day activity diary, with each day divided into 96 periods of 15 minutes each. Participants asked code the main activity performed during each 15-minute period using a scale from 1 to 9, ranging from sleeping (category 1) to intense manual work (category 9). Sedentary behaviour can be calculated as the sum of time identified as being in category 2 (“Sitting: eating, listening, writing, etc”). (Source)
Available from American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
2. Previous-Day Recall of Active and Sedentary Behaviours
Description: An interviewer administered previous-day recall of sedentary and active behaviours in adults and adolescents. Validation study concluded that “Correlations between the PDR and the activPAL were high, systematic reporting errors were low, and the validity of the PDR was comparable with the ActiGraph.”
Available from Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.
3. International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ)
Description: A questionnaire that can be administered in person or over the phone. Participants are asked to to list the amount of time that they spend sitting at work, at home, while doing course work, during leisure time (including watching television), as well as time spent in a motor vehicle.
Available as both a short-form and long-form questionnaire in 20+ languages/dialects via the IPAQ website.
4. Marshall Sitting Questionnaire
Description: A questionnaire that assessed time spent sitting on weekdays and weekend days: 1) traveling to and from places, 2) at work, 3) watching television, 4) using a computer at home, and 5) for leisure, not including television.
Results and from validation study: “Reliability coefficients were high for weekday sitting time at work, watching television, and using a computer at home (r = 0.84-0.78) but lower for weekend days across all domains (r = 0.23-0.74). Validity coefficients were highest for weekday sitting time at work and using a computer at home (r = 0.69-0.74). With the exception of computer use and watching television for women, validity of the weekend-day sitting time items was low.”
5. Workplace Sitting Questionnaire (adapted from Marshall Questionnaire)
Description: A measure of total and domain-specific sitting time based on work and non-workdays in adults. Asks about sitting time (1) while travelling to and from places; (2) while at work; (3) while watching TV; (4) while using a computer at home; and (5) while doing other leisure activities on work and non-workdays.
Results from validation study: “Measuring total sitting time based on a workday, non-workday and on average had fair to excellent test–retest reliability (ICC=0.46–0.90) and had sufficient criterion validity against accelerometry in women (r=0.22–0.46) and men (r=0.18–0.29). Measuring domain-specific sitting at work on a workday was also reliable (ICC=0.63) and valid (r=0.45).”
Available from the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
Description: The SIT-Q was developed to assess habitual sedentary behaviour across a variety of domains. It is currently being used in a number of epidemiological studies, including the BETA Trial.
Available for download at the following link: Sit-Q
6.5 SI-Q 7 Day
Description: An expanded version of the SIT-Q using a 7-day reference frame. The validation study is currently in press at Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise (a link will be provided once the study is available online).
The questionnaire, as well as recommended scoring, cleaning and processing codes are all available on theMRC Epidemiology website.
7. The Sedentary Behaviour Questionnaire (SBQ)
Description (from the validation paper): “The SBQ was designed to assess the amount of time spent doing 9 behaviors (watching television, playing computer/video games, sitting while listening to music, sitting and talking on the phone, doing paperwork or office work, sitting and reading, playing a musical instrument, doing arts and crafts, sitting and driving/riding in a car, bus, or train). The 9 items were completed separately for weekdays and weekend days. Wording for weekday reporting was, “on a typical weekday, how much time do you spend (from when you wake up until you go to bed) doing the following?”
Results: “ICCs were acceptable for all items and the total scale (range = .51-.93). For men, there were significant relationships of SBQ items with IPAQ sitting time and BMI.”
8. The Adolescent Sedentary Activity Questionnaire (ASAQ)
Description: A questionnaire designed for use in adolescents, which provides information related to screen time, education (e.g. homework), travel, cultural (reading, crafts, etc) and social (relaxing with friends, going to church, etc) sedentary behaviours. Has been shown to be valid, reliable, and sensitive to changes in sedentary time.
The full questionnaire and supporting documents are available on the ACAORN website.
9. Rapid Assessment Disuse Index (RADI)
Description: A tool for rapidly quantifying and tracking the sedentary time and low levels of daily lifestyle physical activity among primary care patients.
Results of the validation study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine: ”RADI was temporally stable (intraclass correlation coefficients 0.79), and a higher score was significantly correlated with greater sedentary time (ρ=0.40; p<0.01), fewer sedentary to active transitions (ρ=-0.42; p<0.01), and less light-intensity physical activity (ρ=-0.40; p<0.01). The ability of RADI to detect patients with high levels of sedentary time was fair (AUC=0.72).”
10. Measure of Older Adults’ Sedentary Time (MOST)
Description: A questionnaire that assesses time spent in behaviors common among older adults: watching television, computer use, reading, socializing, transport and hobbies, and a summary measure (total sedentary time).
Results from a validation study: “Test-retest reliability was excellent for television viewing time (ρ (95% CI) = 0.78 (0.63-0.89)), computer use (ρ (95% CI) = 0.90 (0.83-0.94)), and reading (ρ (95% CI) = 0.77 (0.62-0.86)); acceptable for hobbies (ρ (95% CI) = 0.61 (0.39-0.76)); and poor for socializing and transport (ρ < 0.45). Total sedentary time had acceptable test-retest reliability (ρ (95% CI) = 0.52 (0.27-0.70)) and validity (ρ (95% CI) = 0.30 (0.02-0.54)). Self-report total sedentary time was similarly responsive to change (RS = 0.47) as accelerometer-derived sedentary time (RS = 0.39).”
11. Past-day Adults’ Sedentary Time (PAST)
Description: A 7-item questionnaire that asks questions about sedentary behaviours on the previous day.
Results from validation study, published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise: “The PAST had fair to good test-retest reliability (intraclass correlation coefficient = 0.50, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.32-0.64). At baseline, the correlation between PAST and activPAL sit/lie time was r = 0.57 (95% CI = 0.39-0.71). The mean difference between PAST at baseline and retest was -25 min (5.2%), 95% limits of agreement = -5.9 to 5.0 h, and the activPAL sit/lie time was -9 min (1.8%), 95% limits of agreement = -4.9 to 4.6 h. The PAST showed small but significant responsiveness (-0.44, 95% CI = -0.92 to -0.04); responsiveness of activPAL sit/lie time was not significant.”
12. LASA Sedentary Behavior Questionnaire
Description: A 10-item questionnaire that asks about weekday and weekend day sedentary behaviour.
Results from the validation study, published in BMC Geriatrics: “Mean total self-reported sedentary time was 10.4 (SD 3.5) h/d and was not significantly different from mean total objective sedentary time (10.2 (1.2) h/d, p = 0.63). Total self-reported sedentary time on an average day (sum often activities) correlated moderately (Spearman’s r = 0.35, p < 0.01) with total objective sedentary time. The correlation improved when using the sum of six activities (r = 0.46, p < 0.01), and was much higher than when using TV watching only (r = 0.22, p = 0.05). The test-retest reliability of the sum of six sedentary activities was 0.71 (95% CI 0.57-0.81).”
13. Occupational Sitting and Physical Activity Questionnaire (OSPAQ)
Description: A questionnaire that focuses on workplace sitting and physical activity.
Results from the validation study, published in MSSE: “The test–retest intraclass correlation coefficients for occupational sitting, standing, and walking for OSPAQ ranged from 0.73 to 0.90, while that for the modified MOSPA-Q [a separate questionnaire] ranged from 0.54 to 0.89. Comparison of sitting measures with accelerometers showed higher Spearman correlations for the OSPAQ (r = 0.65) than for the modified MOSPA-Q (r = 0.52). Criterion validity correlations for occupational standing and walking measures were comparable for both instruments with accelerometers (standing:r = 0.49; walking:r = 0.27–0.29).”