Assessment of the accuracy of physical activity questionnaire occupational data

J Occup Med. 1993 Oct;35(10):1017-27.


The validity and reliability of occupational physical activity data from survey instruments were determined in 75 men and women (age 23 to 59 years) in white-collar jobs. Data were validated against measures of cardiorespiratory fitness, body fatness, motion detection, pulmonary function, and 12 days of occupational physical activity records. More than 90% of occupational physical activity was spent in light-intensity sitting, standing, and walking. Test-retest reliability was high for most occupational questions (r > or = .63, P < .05). Correlation coefficients between questionnaire data and validation criteria that reflect heavy-intensity physical activity were low (r < .17, P > .05). The modified Tecumseh Occupational Questionnaire and Seven-Day Recall, which classified occupational physical activity in hours per week worked and average level of ratio of associated metabolic rate for a specific activity divided by the resting metabolic rate, on the job, correlated best with physical activity records (r = .11 to .47). Validation of these self-administered questionnaires in populations with a greater diversity of jobs and occupational energy requirements is needed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living / classification
  • Adult
  • Arteriosclerosis / etiology
  • Arteriosclerosis / prevention & control
  • Coronary Disease / etiology
  • Coronary Disease / prevention & control
  • Energy Metabolism*
  • Female
  • Health Surveys*
  • Humans
  • Job Description
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology
  • Occupational Diseases / prevention & control
  • Physical Exertion*
  • Physical Fitness*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Work Capacity Evaluation*