Validity of two self-report measures of sitting time

Stacy A. Clemes*, Beverley M. David, Yi Zhao, Xu Han, Wendy Brown

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

73 Citations (Scopus)
26 Downloads (Pure)


Background: In light of evidence linking sedentary behaviors to health outcomes, there have been calls for the measurement of sedentary behavior in surveillance studies. This study examined the convergent validity of 2 self-report measures of sitting time and accelerometer-determined sedentary time (minutes/day of <100 counts/minute). 

Methods: 44 adults wore an ActiGraph accelerometer for 7 days, during which they also recorded daily sitting time in a diary, in response to a single-item question. After 7 days, participants completed a new domain-specifc questionnaire to assess usual weekday and weekend-day sitting time. Total sitting times recorded from the self-report measures were compared with accelerometer-determined sedentary time. 

Results: Total sitting time calculated from the domain-specific questionnaire did not differ significantly from accelerometer-determined sedentary time on weekdays (mean difference [±SE] = -14 ± 28 mins/day) and weekend days (-4 ± 45 mins/day, both P > .05). Sitting time was significantly underestimated using the single-item specific-day question on weekdays (-173 ± 18 mins/day) and weekend days (-219 ± 23 mins/day, both P < .001). 

Conclusions: When assessed via self-report, the estimation of total sitting time is improved by summing sitting times reported across different domains. The continued improvement of self-report measures of sitting time will be important if we are to further our understanding of the links between sedentary behavior and health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)533-539
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Physical Activity and Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


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