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Validity and responsiveness to change of the Active Australia Survey according to gender, age, BMI, education, and physical activity level and awareness

journal contribution
posted on 14.01.2020, 00:00 by Corneel VandelanotteCorneel Vandelanotte, MJ Duncan, Robert StantonRobert Stanton, RR Rosenkranz, CM Caperchione, Amanda RebarAmanda Rebar, TN Savage, WK Mummery, GS Kolt
Background: This study aimed to investigate the validity of the Active Australia Survey across different subgroups and its responsiveness to change, as few previous studies have examined this. Methods: The Active Australia Survey was validated against the ActiGraph as an objective measure of physical activity. Participants (n = 465) wore the ActiGraph for 7 days and subsequently completed the Active Australia Survey. Moderate activity, vigorous activity and total moderate and vigorous physical activity were compared using Spearman rank-order correlations. Changes in physical activity between baseline and 3-month assessments were correlated to examine responsiveness to change. The data were stratified to assess outcomes according to different subgroups (e.g., gender, age, weight, activity levels). Results: With regards to the validity, a significant correlation of ρ = 0.19 was found for moderate physical activity, ρ = 0.33 for vigorous physical activity and ρ = 0.23 for moderate and vigorous physical activity combined. For vigorous physical activity correlations were higher than 0.3 for most subgroups, whereas they were only higher than 0.3 in those with a healthy weight for the other activity outcomes. With regards to responsiveness to change, a correlation of ρ = 0.32 was found for moderate physical activity, ρ = 0.19 for vigorous physical activity and ρ = 0.35 for moderate and vigorous physical activity combined. For moderate and vigorous activity combined correlations were higher than 0.4 for several subgroups, but never for vigorous physical activity. Conclusions: Little evidence for the validity of Active Australia Survey was found, although the responsiveness to change was acceptable for several subgroups. Findings from studies using the Active Australia Survey should be interpreted with caution. Trial registration: World Health Organisation Universal Trial Number: U111-1119-1755. Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry, ACTRN12611000157976. Registration date: 8 March 2011. © 2019 The Author(s).


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






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BioMed Central, UK

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CC BY 4.0

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Open Access


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External Author Affiliations

University of Alberta, Canada; Western Sydney University; University of Newcastle; , Kansas State University, USA; University of Technology Sydney

Era Eligible



BMC Public Health