The BPAQ: a bone-specific physical activity assessment instrument

Osteoporos Int. 2008 Nov;19(11):1567-77. doi: 10.1007/s00198-008-0606-2. Epub 2008 Apr 15.


A newly developed bone-specific physical activity questionnaire (BPAQ) was compared with other common measures of physical activity for its ability to predict parameters of bone strength in healthy, young adults. The BPAQ predicted indices of bone strength at clinically relevant sites in both men and women, while other measures did not.

Introduction: Only certain types of physical activity (PA) are notably osteogenic. Most methods to quantify levels of PA fail to account for bone relevant loading. Our aim was to examine the ability of several methods of PA assessment and a new bone-specific measure to predict parameters of bone strength in healthy adults.

Methods: We recruited 40 men and women (mean age 24.5). Subjects completed the modifiable activity questionnaire, Bouchard 3-day activity record, a recently published bone loading history questionnaire (BLHQ), and wore a pedometer for 14 days. We also administered our bone-specific physical activity questionnaire (BPAQ). Calcaneal broadband ultrasound attenuation (BUA) (QUS-2, Quidel) and densitometric measures (XR-36, Norland) were examined. Multiple regression and correlation analyses were performed on the data.

Results: The current activity component of BPAQ was a significant predictor of variance in femoral neck bone mineral density (BMD), lumbar spine BMD, and whole body BMD (R(2) = 0.36-0.68, p < 0.01) for men, while the past activity component of BPAQ predicted calcaneal BUA (R(2) = 0.48, p = 0.001) for women.

Conclusions: The BPAQ predicted indices of bone strength at skeletal sites at risk of osteoporotic fracture while other PA measurement tools did not.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anthropometry / methods
  • Body Mass Index
  • Bone Density / physiology*
  • Exercise / physiology
  • Female
  • Femur Neck / physiology
  • Humans
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / physiology
  • Male
  • Motor Activity / physiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • Time Factors
  • Weight-Bearing / physiology
  • Young Adult