Dietary assessment and physical activity measurements toolkit

Physical activity assessment


Valid and reliable measures of physical activity are a necessity in studies designed to:

  • Document the frequency and distribution of PA in defined populations;
  • Determine the dose of physical activity required to influence specific health parameters;
  • Identify the psychosocial and environmental factors that influence physical activity;
  • Evaluate the efficacy of programs designed to increase physical activity.

Physical activity is a different construct to physical fitness; exercise is a type of physical activity undertaken in leisure time and should not be used interchangeably with the term ‘activity’.  Sedentary behaviour is not merely the absence of physical activity and is emerging as a potential independent health risk.

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