A hitchhiker's guide to assessing young people's physical activity : deciding what method to use

Dollman, James, Okely, Anthony D., Hardy, Louise, Timperio, Anna, Salmon, Jo and Hills, Andrew P. 2009, A hitchhiker's guide to assessing young people's physical activity : deciding what method to use, Journal of science and medicine in sport, vol. 12, pp. 518-525, doi: 10.1016/jsams.2009.08.07.

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Title A hitchhiker's guide to assessing young people's physical activity : deciding what method to use
Author(s) Dollman, James
Okely, Anthony D.
Hardy, Louise
Timperio, AnnaORCID iD for Timperio, Anna orcid.org/0000-0002-8773-5012
Salmon, JoORCID iD for Salmon, Jo orcid.org/0000-0002-4734-6354
Hills, Andrew P.
Journal name Journal of science and medicine in sport
Volume number 12
Start page 518
End page 525
Total pages 8
Publisher Elsevier
Place of publication The Netherlands
Publication date 2009
ISSN 1440-2440
Keyword(s) Physical activity
Summary Researchers and practitioners interested in assessing physical activity in  children are often faced with the dilemma of what instrument to use. While there is a plethora of physical activity instruments to choose from, there is currently no guide regarding the suitability of common assessment instruments. The purpose of this paper is to provide a user’s guide for selecting physical activity assessment instruments appropriate for use with children and adolescents. While recommendations regarding specific instruments are not provided, the guide offers information about key attributes and considerations for the use of eight physical activity assessment approaches: heart rate monitoring; accelerometry; pedometry; direct observation; self-report; parent report; teacher report; and diaries/logs. Attributes of instruments and other factors to be considered in the selection of assessment instruments include: population (age); sample size; respondent burden; method/delivery mode; assessment time frame; physical activity information required (data output); data management; measurement error; cost (instrument and administration) and other limitations. A decision flow chart has been developed to assist researchers and practitioners to select an appropriate method of assessing physical activity. Five real-life scenarios are presented to illustrate this process in light of key instrument attributes. It is important that researchers, practitioners and policy makers understand the strengths and limitations of different methods of assessing physical activity, and are guided on selection of the most appropriate instrument/s to suit their needs.
Language eng
DOI 10.1016/jsams.2009.08.07
Field of Research 111706 Epidemiology
Socio Economic Objective 920401 Behaviour and Health
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
HERDC collection year 2009
Copyright notice ©2008, Sports Medicine Australia
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30019931

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