Measuring stair use in two office buildings: a comparison between an objective and a self-reported method

L H Engbers, M N M van Poppel, W van Mechelen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


INTRODUCTION/PURPOSE: Measuring stair use reliably and objectively is complicated and difficult. In this study, stair use was measured at an individual level by using an innovative registration system and was compared with self-reported data. The purpose of this study was to gain an insight into the comparability of self-reported stair use vs objectively measured stair use.

METHODS: Self-reported and objective stair use was measured in two worksites and was operationalized as how often a subject uses the stairs per week (i.e., stair-use frequency) and the number of floors covered (up or down) in a week with each use. Analyses were performed by means of the intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs).

RESULTS: A number of significant differences in stair use between worksites were found. ICCs of 0.55 and 0.24 for stair-use frequency were found in worksites 1 and 2, respectively. The ICCs for the number of floors covered were lower at 0.39 and 0.19 for worksites 1 and 2, respectively.

CONCLUSION: The comparability of self-reported and objectively measured stair use is moderate to poor, and given the independent measurement errors of both methods, this might have been expected. Comparability seemed to be dependent on worksite characteristics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-71
Number of pages7
JournalScandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2007


  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Health Promotion
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands
  • Workplace

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