Physical activity and sedentary behaviour in daily life: A comparative analysis of the Global Physical Activity Questionnaire (GPAQ) and the SenseWear armband
by Michelle Laeremans, Evi Dons, Ione Avila-Palencia, Glòria Carrasco-Turigas, Juan Pablo Orjuela, Esther Anaya, Christian Brand, Tom Cole-Hunter, Audrey de Nazelle, Thomas Götschi, Sonja Kahlmeier, Mark Nieuwenhuijsen, Arnout Standaert, Patrick De Boever, Luc Int PanisReduction of sedentary time and an increase in physical activity offer potential to improve public health. However, quantifying physical activity behaviour under real world conditions is a major challenge and no standard of good practice is available. Our aim was to compare the results of physical activity and sedentary behaviour obtained with a self-reported instrument (Global Physical Activity Questionnaire (GPAQ)) and a wearable sensor (SenseWear) in a repeated measures study design. Healthy adults (41 in Antwerp, 41 in Barcelona and 40 in London) wore the SenseWear armband for seven consecutive days and completed the GPAQ on the final day. This was repeated three times. We used the Wilcoxon signed rank sum test, Spearman correlation coefficients, mixed effects regression models and Bland-Altman plots to study agreement between both methods. Mixed models were used to assess the effect of personal characteristics on the absolute and relative difference between estimates obtained with the GPAQ and SenseWear. Moderate to vigorous energy expenditure and duration derived from the GPAQ were significantly lower (p<0.05) compared to the SenseWear, yet these variables showed significant correlations ranging from 0.45 to 0.64. Estimates of vigorous-intensity physical activity in particular showed high similarity (r>0.59). Results for sedentary behaviour did not differ, yet were poorly correlated (r<0.25). The differences between all variables were reproducible across repeated measurements. In addition, we observed a relationship between these differences and BMI, body fat and physical activity domain. Due to the lack of a standardized protocol, results from different studies measuring physical activity and sedentary behaviour are difficult to compare. Therefore, we suggested an easy-to-implement approach for future studies adding the GPAQ to the wearable of choice as a basis for comparisons.
Publisher URL: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article
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