File(s) not publicly available

Validity and bias on the online active Australia survey: Activity level and participant factors associated with self-report bias

journal contribution
posted on 19.02.2020, 00:00 authored by RG Curtis, T Olds, R Plotnikoff, Corneel VandelanotteCorneel Vandelanotte, S Edney, J Ryan, C Maher
BACKGROUND: This study examined the criterion validity of the online Active Australia Survey, using accelerometry as the criterion, and whether self-report bias was related to level of activity, age, sex, education, body mass index and health-related quality of life. METHODS: The online Active Australia Survey was validated against the GENEActiv accelerometer as a direct measure of activity. Participants (n = 344) wore an accelerometer for 7 days, completed the Active Australia Survey, and reported their health and demographic characteristics. A Spearman's rank coefficient examined the association between minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity recorded on the Active Australia Survey and GENEActiv accelerometer. A Bland-Altman plot illustrated self-report bias (the difference between methods). Linear mixed effects modelling was used to examine whether participant factors predicted self-report bias. RESULTS: The association between moderate-to-vigorous physical activity reported on the online Active Australia Survey and accelerometer was significant (rs = .27, p < .001). Participants reported 4 fewer minutes per day on the Active Australia Survey than was recorded by accelerometry (95% limits of agreement -104 - 96 min) but the difference was not significant (t(343) = -1.40, p = .16). Self-report bias was negatively associated with minutes of accelerometer-recorded moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and positively associated with mental health-related quality of life. CONCLUSIONS: The online Active Australia Survey showed limited criterion validity against accelerometry. Self-report bias was related to activity level and mental health-related quality of life. Caution is recommended when interpreting studies using the online Active Australia Survey.


Category 1 - Australian Competitive Grants (this includes ARC, NHMRC)




Start Page


End Page


Number of Pages





BioMed Central, UK

Additional Rights

CC BY 4.0

Peer Reviewed


Open Access


Acceptance Date


External Author Affiliations

University of South Australia; The University of Newcastle

Author Research Institute

Appleton Institute

Era Eligible



BMC Medical Research Methodology

Usage metrics