Comparison of two questionnaires with a tri-axial accelerometer to assess physical activity patterns

Int J Sports Med. 2001 Jan;22(1):34-9. doi: 10.1055/s-2001-11359.


Two physical activity questionnaires were evaluated against cardiorespiratory fitness (VO2 peak), and a tri-axial accelerometer for movement registration (Tracmor) in 166 men, aged 40 years, within the framework of the Leuven Longitudinal Study on Lifestyle, Fitness, and Health. Tracmor data were obtained during four successive days. Besides the work index, the sport index, and the total activity index from the Baecke questionnaire, the subjective activity score, calculated energy expenditure during work, work index, and the total activity index from the Tecumseh Community questionnaire showed significant correlation coefficients with the mean Tracmor output (r = 0.26-0.47, p < 0.01). The questionnaire submeasures and the Tracmor output as generated in the same physical activity dimension showed the same relationships (r = 0.22-0.50, p < 0.01). Multiple stepwise regression and stepwise discriminant analyses showed the Baecke questionnaire as the best indicator of the subject's physical activity level. Extra information about the physical activity level was given by two Tecumseh submeasures, e.g. energy expenditure during work and sleeping time. The results indicated that the Baecke questionnaire is superior in large-scale studies because of simplicity. However, the Tecumseh questionnaire can give detailed information about physical activity patterns and energy expenditure.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adult
  • Anaerobic Threshold
  • Energy Metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Life Style*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Physical Fitness*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*