Dietary assessment and physical activity measurements toolkit

Physical activity assessment – Methods


The choice of method to measure physical activity is dependent on the aspect of physical activity which is central to the research question. Decisions about the likely effect of season or days of the week may influence the choice of method or the length of the assessment period. A combination of methods may be required to obtain the desired outcomes.
 
The dimensions of physical activity include frequency, intensity, duration and type. The domains in which physical activity occur include leisure time, occupational, transport and household / garden chores. The ideal physical activity assessment method would measure all dimensions in all domains; no such method currently exists.

In this section of the toolkit methods of measuring physical activity are reviewed, along with guidance about their use in practice and related resources are provided.

 

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