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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Improving methods of measuring physical activity for health research : validation of the lifetime physical activity questionnaire (L-PAQ) De Vera, Mary Abigail


Lifetime physical activity plays an important determinant role in health outcomes including physical fitness, well-being, and development of disease, and the evaluation psychometric properties of instruments measuring this construct are important in epidemiologic studies. This study provided a comprehensive evaluation of the Lifetime Physical Activity Questionnaire (L-PAQ), a novel, Internet-based, self-administered instrument measuring lifetime exposure to physical activity across three domains: sports/recreation, occupation, and domestic. Validation of the L-PAQ involved a test/retest study to evaluate instrument reliability and a two-part construct validity study involving comparison to two questionnaires measuring similar constructs and hypotheses testing of L-PAQ constructs. The L-PAQ demonstrated good reliability with intraclass correlation coefficients for average lifetime hours/week of physical activity ranged from 0.58 to 0.83. The highest reliability was seen for sports (0.83) and lowest for total activity (0.58). Intermediate correlation coefficients were obtained for occupational (0.72) and domestic (0.60) activity. Based on the results of comparison with the LTPAQ, the Lifetime Total Physical Activity Questionnaire, and the CT-PAQ, the Chasan- Taber Physical Activity Questionnaire, the L-PAQ demonstrated very good validity for domestic activity and moderate validity for sports and occupational activity. The robustness of the measurement of lifetime physical activity by the L-PAQ was further supported by the results of hypotheses tests between constructs measured by the questionnaire and descriptors of survey respondents. The relationship between lifetime physical activity measured by the L-PAQ and gender agree with previous findings. In addition, this was the first study to show relationships between lifetime physical activity and education level. Overall, validation studies of the L-PAQ contribute to the existing knowledge of measurement of lifetime physical activity and provide evidence for the utility of this instrument.

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