Introduction: The International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) was developed to measure health-related physical activity (PA) in populations. The short version of the IPAQ has been tested extensively and is now used in many international studies. The present study aimed to explore the validity characteristics of the long-version IPAQ.
Subjects and methods: Forty-six voluntary healthy male and female subjects (age, mean +/- standard deviation: 40.7 +/- 10.3 years) participated in the study. PA indicators derived from the long, self-administered IPAQ were compared with data from an activity monitor and a PA log book for concurrent validity, and with aerobic fitness, body mass index (BMI) and percentage body fat for construct validity.
Results: Strong positive relationships were observed between the activity monitor data and the IPAQ data for total PA (rho = 0.55, P < 0.001) and vigorous PA (rho = 0.71, P < 0.001), but a weaker relationship for moderate PA (rho = 0.21, P = 0.051). Calculated MET-h day(-1) from the PA log book was significantly correlated with MET-h day(-1) from the IPAQ (rho = 0.67, P < 0.001). A weak correlation was observed between IPAQ data for total PA and both aerobic fitness (rho = 0.21, P = 0.051) and BMI (rho = 0.25, P = 0.009). No significant correlation was observed between percentage body fat and IPAQ variables. Bland-Altman analysis suggested that the inability of activity monitors to detect certain types of activities might introduce a source of error in criterion validation studies.
Conclusions: The long, self-administered IPAQ questionnaire has acceptable validity when assessing levels and patterns of PA in healthy adults.