Criterion-related validity of the last 7-day, short form of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire in Swedish adults

Public Health Nutr. 2006 Apr;9(2):258-65. doi: 10.1079/phn2005840.


Objective: To examine the validity of the short, last 7-day, self-administered form of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ).

Design: All subjects wore an accelerometer for seven consecutive days and completed the IPAQ questionnaire on the eighth day. Criterion validity was assessed by linear regression analysis and by modified Bland-Altman analysis. Specificity and sensitivity were calculated for classifying respondents according to the physical activity guidelines of the American College of Sports Medicine/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Setting: Workplaces in Uppsala, Sweden.

Subjects: One hundred and eighty-five (87 males) participants, aged 20 to 69 years.

Results: Total self-reported physical activity (PA) (MET-min day(-1)) was significantly correlated with average intensity of activity (counts min(-1)) from accelerometry (r = 0.34, P < 0.001). Gender, age, education and body mass index did not affect this relationship. Further, subcomponents of self-reported PA (time spent sitting, time in PA, time in moderate and vigorous activity (MVPA)) were significantly correlated with objectively measured PA (P < 0.05). Self-reported time in PA was significantly different from time measured by accelerometry (mean difference: -25.9 min day(-1); 95% limits of agreement: -172 to 120 min day(-1); P < 0.001). IPAQ identified 77% (specificity) of those who met the current PA guidelines of accumulating more than 30 min day(-1) in MVPA as determined by accelerometry, whereas only 45% (sensitivity) of those not meeting the guidelines were classified correctly.

Conclusions: Our results indicate that the short, last 7-days version of the IPAQ has acceptable criterion validity for use in Swedish adults. However, the IPAQ instrument significantly overestimated self-reported time spent in PA. The specificity to correctly classify people achieving current PA guidelines was acceptable, whereas the sensitivity was low.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Self Disclosure*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards*
  • Sweden