Sedentary time (too much sitting) increasingly is being recognized as a distinct health risk behavior. This paper reviews the reliability and validity of self-reported and device-based sedentary time measures and provides recommendations for their use in population-based studies. The focus is on instruments that have been used in free-living, population-based research in adults. Data from the 2003-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey are utilized to compare the descriptive epidemiology of sedentary time that arises from the use of different sedentary time measures. A key recommendation from this review is that, wherever possible, population-based monitoring of sedentary time should incorporate both self-reported measures (to capture important domain- and behavior-specific sedentary time information) and device-based measures (to measure both total sedentary time and patterns of sedentary time accumulation).
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