Validation of a 7-day physical activity diary against doubly-labelled water.

Research paper by Elaine C EC Rush, Mauro E ME Valencia, Lindsay D LD Plank

Indexed on: 09 Jul '08Published on: 09 Jul '08Published in: Annals of human biology


The assessment of physical activity intensity and duration is essential for understanding group activity patterns.The present study evaluated the validity of measurement of total energy expenditure (TEE) and physical activity level (PAL) using a categorized physical activity diary. In 29 young healthy men, aged 18-27 years, with body mass index range 21-43 kg m(-2), TEE using doubly-labelled water (DLW), resting metabolic rate (RMR) by indirect calorimetry, physical activity level (PAL defined as TEE/RMR) and activity pattern, timing and level from 7-day physical activity diaries were determined.TEE by DLW and estimated by activity diary were correlated (r = 0.61, p = 0.005). The mean underestimation of TEE by the activity diary compared with the DLW method was 2.50 +/- 0.72 MJ day(-1). Sedentary (lying, sitting and standing) time averaged 18 h day(-1) and was negatively correlated with PAL (r = -0.44, p = 0.018) whilst time spent in light intensity activity (5 h day(-1)) was positively correlated (r = 0.51, p = 0.005).It is concluded that the categorized physical activity diary measured TEE with limited accuracy but presents an inexpensive, convenient method of discriminating individual and group physical activity patterns.