Test-retest reliability of a modified International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) to capture neighbourhood physical activity

Levi Frehlich, Christine Friedenreich, Alberto Nettel-Aguirre, Gavin R. McCormack


Introduction: Few self-report tools capture neighbourhood physical activity. The aim of our study was to modify a widely-used self-report tool (International Physical Activity Questionnaire – IPAQ) to capture neighbourhood physical activity and estimate the test-retest reliability of these modifications. Material and Methods: Seventy-five adults completed the modified IPAQ twice, 7-days apart, capturing neighbourhood days·week-1 and usual minutes·day-1 of bicycling and walking for transport and leisure, moderate physical activity, and vigorous physical activity. Test-retest reliability was assessed with Intraclass Correlations (ICC), percent of overall agreement and Kappa statistics (κ). Results: Consistency in participation in neighbourhood PA ranged from k = 0.21 for moderate physical activity to k = 0.55 for vigorous physical activity, while proportion of overall agreement ranged from 64.0% for moderate physical activity to 81.3% for bicycling for transportation. ICC for reported neighbourhood PA between the two occasions ranged from ICC = 0.33 for moderate physical activity to ICC = 0.69 for bicycling for transportation for days·week-1, ICC = 0.17 for bicycling for transportation to ICC = 0.48 for walking for leisure for minutes·day-1, and ICC = 0.31 for vigorous physical activity to ICC = 0.52 for walking for leisure for minutes·week-1. Conclusions: With the exception of minutes spent bicycling for transportation, our findings suggest that IPAQ items can be modified to provide reliable estimates of neighbourhood physical activity.


International physical activity questionnaire; IPAQ; Physical activity; Adults; Neighbourhood


Al-Hazzaa, H. M., Abahussain, N. A., Al-Sobayel, H. I., Qahwaji, D. M., & Musaiger, A. O. (2011). Physical activity, sedentary behaviors and dietary habits among Saudi adolescents relative to age, gender and region. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 8(1), 140. https://doi.org/10.1186/1479-5868-8-140

Bae, W. K., Cho, B., & Son, K. Y. (2015). Validity and reliability of the korean version of neighborhood physical activity questionnaire. Korean Journal of Family Medicine, 36(3), 135–40. https://doi.org/10.4082/kjfm.2015.36.3.135

Bauman, A. E., Reis, R. S., Sallis, J. F., Wells, J. C., Loos, R. J. F., Martin, B. W., & Lancet Physical Activity Series Working Group. (2012). Correlates of physical activity: Why are some people physically active and others not? The Lancet, 380(9838), 258–271. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(12)60735-1

Cerin, E., Barnett, A., Sit, C. H. P., Cheung, M., Lee, L. J., Ho, S., & Chan, W. (2011). Measuring walking within and outside the neighborhood in Chinese elders: reliability and validity. BMC Public Health, 11(1), 851. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-11-851

Cerin, E., Conway, T. L., Cain, K. L., Kerr, J., De Bourdeaudhuij, I., Owen, N., … Sallis, J. F. (2013). Sharing good NEWS across the world: developing comparable scores across 12 countries for the Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale (NEWS). BMC Public Health, 13(1), 309. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-13-309

Cerin, E., Nathan, A., van Cauwenberg, J., Barnett, D. W., Barnett, A., & Council on Environment and Physical Activity (CEPA) – Older Adults working group. (2017). The neighbourhood physical environment and active travel in older adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis. The International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 14(1), 15. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12966-017-0471-5

Cerin, E., Saelens, B. E., Sallis, J. F., & Frank, L. D. (2006). Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale: validity and development of a short form. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 38(9), 1682–91. https://doi.org/10.1249/01.mss.0000227639.83607.4d

Choi, J., Lee, M., Lee, J., Kang, D., & Choi, J.-Y. (2017). Correlates associated with participation in physical activity among adults: a systematic review of reviews and update. BMC Public Health, 17(1), 356. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-017-4255-2

Christian, H. E., Bull, F. C., Middleton, N. J., Knuiman, M. W., Divitini, M. L., Hooper, P., … Giles-Corti, B. (2011). How important is the land use mix measure in understanding walking behaviour? Results from the RESIDE study. The International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 8(1), 55. https://doi.org/10.1186/1479-5868-8-55

Craig, C. L., Marshall, A. L., Sjöström, M., Bauman, A. E., Booth, M. L., Ainsworth, B. E., … Oja, P. (2003). International physical activity questionnaire: 12-country reliability and validity. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 35(8), 1381–95. https://doi.org/10.1249/01.MSS.0000078924.61453.FB

Ding, D., Adams, M. a, Sallis, J. F., Norman, G. J., Hovell, M. F., Chambers, C. D., … Bauman, A. E. (2013). Perceived neighborhood environment and physical activity in 11 countries: do associations differ by country? The International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 10, 57. https://doi.org/10.1186/1479-5868-10-57

Ding, D., & Gebel, K. (2012). Built environment, physical activity, and obesity: what have we learned from reviewing the literature? Health & Place, 18(1), 100–5. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.healthplace.2011.08.021

Doma, K., Speyer, R., Leicht, A. S., & Cordier, R. (2017). Comparison of psychometric properties between usual-week and past-week self-reported physical activity questionnaires: a systematic review. The International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 14(1), 10. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12966-017-0470-6

Ferdinand, A. O., Sen, B., Rahurkar, S., Engler, S., & Menachemi, N. (2012). The relationship between built environments and physical activity: A systematic review. American Journal of Public Health, 102(10), 7–13. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2012.300740

Frank, L. D., Sallis, J. F., Conway, T. L., Chapman, J. E., Saelens, B. E., & Bachman, W. (2006). Many Pathways from Land Use to Health: Associations between Neighborhood Walkability and Active Transportation, Body Mass Index, and Air Quality. Journal of the American Planning Association, 72(1), 75–87. https://doi.org/10.1080/01944360608976725

Giles-Corti, B., Timperio, A., Cutt, H., Pikora, T. J., Bull, F. C. L., Knuiman, M., … Shilton, T. (2006). Development of a reliable measure of walking within and outside the local neighborhood: RESIDE's Neighborhood Physical Activity Questionnaire. Preventive Medicine, 42(6), 455–9. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ypmed.2006.01.019

Hallal, P., & Victora, C. (2004). Reliability and Validity of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ). Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 36(3), 556. https://doi.org/10.1249/01.MSS.0000117161.66394.07

Hillsdon, M., Coombes, E., Griew, P., & Jones, A. (2015). An assessment of the relevance of the home neighbourhood for understanding environmental influences on physical activity: how far from home do people roam? The International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 12(1), 100. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12966-015-0260-y

Humpel, N., Owen, N., Leslie, E., Marshall, A. L., Bauman, A. E., & Sallis, J. F. (2004). Associations of location and perceived environmental attributes with walking in neighborhoods. American Journal of Health Promotion : AJHP, 18(3), 239–42. https://doi.org/10.4278/0890-1171-18.3.239

Kim, Y., Park, I., & Kang, M. (2013). Convergent validity of the international physical activity questionnaire (IPAQ): meta-analysis. Public Health Nutrition, 16(3), 440–52. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1368980012002996

Landis, J. R., & Koch, G. G. (1977). The measurement of observer agreement for categorical data. Biometrics, 33(1), 159–74. https://doi.org/10.2307/2529310

McCormack, G., Csizmadi, I., Friedenreich, C., McLaren, L., Nettel-Aguirre, A., Potestio, M., & Sandalack, B. (2013). Pathways to weight: The influence of neighbourhood environments on the weight status of adults. Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Open Operating Grant Competition.

McCormack, G., Giles-Corti, B., & Bulsara, M. (2008). The relationship between destination proximity, destination mix and physical activity behaviors. Preventive Medicine, 46(1), 33–40. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ypmed.2007.01.013

McCormack, G. R., Friedenreich, C., Sandalack, B. A., Giles-Corti, B., Doyle-Baker, P. K., & Shiell, A. (2012). The relationship between cluster-analysis derived walkability and local recreational and transportation walking among Canadian adults. Health & Place, 18(5), 1079–87. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.healthplace.2012.04.014

McCormack, G., & Shiell, A. (2011). In search of causality: a systematic review of the relationship between the built environment and physical activity among adults. The International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 8, 125. https://doi.org/10.1186/1479-5868-8-125

McCormack, G., Shiell, A., Doyle-Baker, P., Friedenreich, C., Sandalack, B., & Giles-Corti, B. (2009). Testing the reliability of neighborhood-specific measures of physical activity among Canadian adults. Journal of Physical Activity & Health, 6(3), 367–73. https://doi.org/10.1123/jpah.6.3.367

Owen, N., Cerin, E., Leslie, E., duToit, L., Coffee, N., Frank, L. D., … Sallis, J. F. (2007). Neighborhood Walkability and the Walking Behavior of Australian Adults. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 33(5), 387–395. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2007.07.025

Prince, S., Adamo, K., Hamel, M., Hardt, J., Gorber, S., & Tremblay, M. (2008). A comparison of direct versus self-report measures for assessing physical activity in adults: a systematic review. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 5(1), 56. https://doi.org/10.1186/1479-5868-5-56

Saelens, B. E., & Handy, S. L. (2008). Built environment correlates of walking: a review. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 40(7 Suppl), S550-66. https://doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0b013e31817c67a4

Saelens, B. E., Sallis, J. F., Black, J. B., & Chen, D. (2003). Neighborhood-based differences in physical activity: an environment scale evaluation. American Journal of Public Health, 93(9), 1552–8. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.93.9.1552

Sallis, J. F., Frank, L. D., Saelens, B. E., & Kraft, M. K. (2004). Active transportation and physical activity: Opportunities for collaboration on transportation and public health research. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 38(4), 249–268. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tra.2003.11.003

Sallis, J. F., & Saelens, B. E. (2000). Assessment of physical activity by self-report: status, limitations, and future directions. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 71(2 Suppl), S1-14. https://doi.org/10.1080/02701367.2000.11082780

Sundquist, K., Eriksson, U., Kawakami, N., Skog, L., Ohlsson, H., & Arvidsson, D. (2011). Neighborhood walkability, physical activity, and walking behavior: the Swedish Neighborhood and Physical Activity (SNAP) study. Social Science & Medicine (1982), 72(8), 1266–73. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2011.03.004

Van Dyck, D., Cardon, G., Deforche, B., & De Bourdeaudhuij, I. (2015). IPAQ interview version: convergent validity with accelerometers and comparison of physical activity and sedentary time levels with the self-administered version. The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, 55(7–8), 776–86.

Warburton, D. E. R., Nicol, C. W., & Bredin, S. S. D. (2006). Prescribing exercise as preventive therapy. CMAJ : Canadian Medical Association Journal = Journal de l'Association Medicale Canadienne, 174(7), 961–74. https://doi.org/10.1503/cmaj.1040750

DOI: https://doi.org/10.14198/jhse.2018.131.17

License URL: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/