The New Zealand Physical Activity Questionnaires: validation by heart-rate monitoring in a multiethnic population

J Phys Act Health. 2008:5 Suppl 1:S45-61. doi: 10.1123/jpah.5.s1.s45.


Background: This study validated the short- and long-form New Zealand Physical Activity Questionnaires (NZPAQ-SF and NZPAQ-LF) against heart-rate monitoring (HRM) with individual calibration.

Methods: A multiethnic sample (N = 180), age 19 to 86 y, underwent HRM for 3 consecutive days while simultaneously completing physical activity (PA) logs.

Results: Both NZPAQs showed significant (p < .001) correlations to HRM data for brisk walking (r = .27-.43), vigorous-intensity PA (r = .27-.35), and total PA (r = .25; 95% CI, 0.10-0.40), whereas moderate-intensity PA was substantially overreported (mean = 157-199 min). Although the NZPAQ-LF performed better for brisk walking and vigorous-intensity PA, the NZPAQs were strongly correlated (r = .61 and r = .52, respectively, p < .0001). European/Other participants demonstrated the most accurate PA recall of total PA on both NZPAQs (r = .36-.41, p < .01).

Conclusions: The NZPAQs are acceptable instruments for measuring adult PA levels and produce similar results. Substituting culturally specific examples of PAs on the NZPAQs and their accompanying show cards could potentially improve PA recall for Maori and Pacific people.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Data Collection / methods
  • Ethnicity*
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • New Zealand
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*