83 Citations (Scopus)


Background and Objective: This review is an update of a previous review published in 2010, and aims to summarize the available studies on the measurement properties of physical activity questionnaires for young people under the age of 18 years. Methods: Systematic literature searches were carried out using the online PubMed, EMBASE, and SPORTDiscus databases up to 2018. Articles had to evaluate at least one of the measurement properties of a questionnaire measuring at least the duration or frequency of children’s physical activity, and be published in the English language. The standardized COnsensus-based Standards for the selection of health Measurement INstruments (COSMIN) checklist was used for the quality assessment of the studies. Results: This review yielded 87 articles on 89 different questionnaires. Within the 87 articles, 162 studies were conducted: 103 studies assessed construct validity, 50 assessed test–retest reliability, and nine assessed measurement error. Of these studies, 38% were of poor methodological quality and 49% of fair methodological quality. A questionnaire with acceptable validity was found only for adolescents, i.e., the Greek version of the 3-Day Physical Activity Record. Questionnaires with acceptable test–retest reliability were found in all age categories, i.e., preschoolers, children, and adolescents. Conclusion: Unfortunately, no questionnaires were identified with conclusive evidence for both acceptable validity and reliability, partly due to the low methodological quality of the studies. This evidence is urgently needed, as current research and practice are using physical activity questionnaires of unknown validity and reliability. Therefore, recommendations for high-quality studies on measurement properties of physical activity questionnaires were formulated in the discussion. PROSPERO Registration Number: CRD42016038695.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2797-2842
Number of pages46
JournalSports Medicine
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018

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