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Journal of Epidemiology
Vol. 21 (2011) No. 2 P 114-121



Original Article

Background: No study has attempted to use the doubly labeled water (DLW) method to validate a physical activity questionnaire administered to a Japanese population. The development and refinement of such questionnaires require that physical activity components related to physical activity level be examined.
Methods: Among 226 Japanese men and women 20 to 83 years of age, total energy expenditure (TEE) was assessed using the Japan Arteriosclerosis Longitudinal Study Physical Activity Questionnaire (JALSPAQ), and the results were compared with TEE measured by the DLW method as a gold standard. Resting metabolic rate (RMR) was measured using the Douglas Bag method.
Results: The median TEE by DLW and physical activity level (PAL: TEE/RMR) were 11.21 MJ/day and 1.88, respectively, for men, and 8.42 MJ/day and 1.83 for women. JALSPAQ slightly underestimated TEE: the differences in mean and standard error were −1.15 ± 1.92 MJ/day. JALSPAQ and DLW TEE values were moderately correlated (Spearman correlation = 0.742, P < 0.001; intraclass correlation coefficient = 0.648, P < 0.001), and the 95% limit of agreement was −4.99 to 2.69 MJ. Underestimation of TEE by JALSPAQ was greater in active subjects than in less active subjects. Moderate and vigorous physical activity and physical activity during work (ie, occupational tasks and housework) were strongly related to physical activity level. However, the physical activity components that differentiated sedentary from moderately active subjects were not clear.
Conclusions: Physical activity level values on JALSPAQ and DLW were weakly correlated. In addition, estimation of TEE in active subjects should be improved, and the use of a questionnaire to differentiate activity in sedentary and moderately active subjects must be reassessed.

Copyright © 2011 by the Japan Epidemiological Association

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