The Stanford Brief Activity Survey (SBAS), a new two-item physical activity survey, and the Stanford Seven-Day Physical Activity Recall (PAR) questionnaire were administered to men and women, aged 60-69 years, in the Atherosclerotic Disease VAscular functioN and genetiC Epidemiology (ADVANCE) Study. Frequency distributions of SBAS activity levels, as well as a receiver operating curve, were calculated to determine if the SBAS can detect recommended physical activity levels of 150 or more minutes/week at moderate or greater intensity, with PAR minutes/week. Data were collected between December 2001 and January 2004 from 1,010 participants (38% women) and recorded. Subjects were 65.8 (standard deviation: 2.8) years of age, 77% were married, 55% were retired, 23% were college graduates, and 68% were Caucasian. SBAS scores related significantly in an expected manner to PAR minutes/week (p < 0.01), energy expenditure (kcal/kg per day) (p < 0.01), and selected cardiovascular disease risk biomarkers (p < 0.01). The SBAS of physical activity at moderate intensity had a sensitivity of 0.73 and a specificity of 0.61. The SBAS is a quick assessment of the usual amount and intensity of physical activity that a person performs throughout the day. The SBAS needs further validation in other populations but demonstrated the potential of being a reasonably valid and inexpensive tool for quickly assessing habitual physical activity in large-scale epidemiology studies and clinical practice.