Reliability and validity of a domain-specific last 7-d sedentary time questionnaire

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2014 Jun;46(6):1248-60. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000000214.


Purpose: The objective of this study is to examine test-retest reliability, criterion validity, and absolute agreement of a self-report, last 7-d sedentary behavior questionnaire (SIT-Q-7d), which assesses total daily sedentary time as an aggregate of sitting/lying down in five domains (meals, transportation, occupation, nonoccupational screen time, and other sedentary time). Dutch (DQ) and English (EQ) versions of the questionnaire were examined.

Methods: Fifty-one Flemish adults (ages 39.4 ± 11.1 yr) wore a thigh accelerometer (activPAL3™) and simultaneously kept a domain log for 7 d. The DQ was subsequently completed twice (median test-retest interval: 3.3 wk). Thigh-acceleration sedentary time was log annotated to create comparable domain-specific and total sedentary time variables. Four hundred two English adults (ages 49.6 ± 7.3 yr) wore a combined accelerometer and HR monitor (Actiheart) for 6 d to objectively measure total sedentary time. The EQ was subsequently completed twice (median test-retest interval: 3.4 wk). In both samples, the questionnaire reference frame overlapped with the criterion measure administration period. All participants had five or more valid days of criterion data, including one or more weekend day.

Results: Test-retest reliability (intraclass correlation coefficient (95% CI)) was fair to good for total sedentary time (DQ: 0.68 (0.50-0.81); EQ: 0.53 (0.44-0.62)) and poor to excellent for domain-specific sedentary time (DQ: from 0.36 (0.10-0.57) (meals) to 0.66 (0.46-0.79) (occupation); EQ: from 0.45 (0.35-0.54) (other sedentary time) to 0.76 (0.71-0.81) (meals)). For criterion validity (Spearman rho), significant correlations were found for total sedentary time (DQ: 0.52; EQ: 0.22; all P <0.001). Compared with domain-specific criterion variables (DQ), modest-to-strong correlations were found for domain-specific sedentary time (from 0.21 (meals) to 0.76 (P < 0.001) (screen time)). The questionnaire generally overestimated sedentary time compared with criterion measures.

Conclusion: The SIT-Q-7d appears to be a useful tool for ranking individuals in large-scale observational studies examining total and domain-specific sitting.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Actigraphy
  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Monitoring, Ambulatory
  • Movement
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sedentary Behavior*
  • Self Report*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*

Associated data

  • ISRCTN/ISRCTN09650496