Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Exercise and Sport Sciences

Major Professor

Edward T. Howley

Committee Members

Dixie L. Thompson, Eugene C. Fitzhugh


PURPOSE: This study compared measures of physical activity (PA) taken from the 7- day Physical Activity Recall (PAR) and the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) with those obtained from the NL 2000 (NL) and Lifecorder (LC) accelerometers in entering, college freshmen.

METHODS: 47 males and 64 females (overall age =18.5±.3 yrs, wt. = 68.7±14.4 kg, and BMI = 23.7 ±4.9) volunteered and signed an informed consent form. All subjects wore the NL for 7 days, and half wore the LC as well. After the 7 days the subjects completed the PAR and IPAQ.

RESULTS: There was a strong agreement between accelerometers with PAEE expressed in kcal/wk (r = 0.958, p= 0.000). However, the NL recorded significantly higher values (p= 0.0001) for PAEE than the LC (Md= 2705 vs. 2120). Both PAR kcal/wk and IPAQ kcal/wk were significantly related to the NL kcal/wk, r = 0.275 (p= 0.004) and r= 0.430 (p= 0.000), respectively. In addition, there were no significant differences in overall PAEE between the NL and PAR (p= 0.148) or the NL and IPAQ (p= 0.198). However, both the PAR and IPAQ reported more PAEE as energy expenditure exceeded 3000 kcal/wk. PAR moderate and vigorous MET-min/wk were not significantly related to LC moderate (p= 0.411) and vigorous MET-min/wk (p= 0.204), respectively. In addition, there were significant differences in MET-min/wk between the PAR and LC for moderate (p= 0.019) and vigorous (p= 0.000) activity. PAR reported relatively the same PAEE at lower amounts of moderate intensity exercise, but reported more PAEE as energy expenditure increased. PAR systematically reported more vigorous PAEE across the full range of energy expenditure.

CONCLUSION: The accelerometers correlated highly and were in close agreement with one another. In first year freshmen, both surveys provided overall estimates of PAEE that were significantly related to objective measures of PA. However, at high levels of energy expenditure, the questionnaires captured more of the vigorous PA that the accelerometers could not monitor.

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