A paper titled “A comparison of self-reported and device measured sedentary behaviour in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis” was published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity on March 04, 2020. The full-text version of the article is available here (open access).
Background: Sedentary behaviour (SB) is a risk factor for chronic disease and premature mortality. While many individual studies have examined the reliability and validity of various self-report measures for assessing SB, it is not clear, in general, how self-reported SB (e.g., questionnaires, logs, ecological momentary assessments (EMAs)) compares to device measures (e.g., accelerometers, inclinometers).
Objective: The primary objective of this systematic review was to compare self-report versus device measures of SB in adults.
Methods: Six bibliographic databases were searched to identify all studies which included a comparable self-report and device measure of SB in adults. Risk of bias within and across studies was assessed. Results were synthesized using meta-analyses.
Results: The review included 185 unique studies. A total of 123 studies comprising 173 comparisons and data from 55,199 participants were used to examine general criterion validity. The average mean difference was -105.19 minutes/day (95% CI: -127.21, -83.17); self-report underestimated sedentary time by ~1.74 hours/day compared to device measures. Self-reported time spent sedentary at work was ~40 minutes higher than when assessed by devices. Single item measures performed more poorly than multi-item questionnaires, EMAs and logs/diaries. On average, when compared to inclinometers, multi-item questionnaires, EMAs and logs/diaries were not significantly different, but had substantial amount of variability (up to 6 hours/day within individual studies) with approximately half over-reporting and half under-reporting. A total of 54 studies provided an assessment of reliability of a self-report measure, on average the reliability was good (ICC = 0.66).
Conclusions: Evidence from this review suggests that single-item self-report measures generally underestimate sedentary time when compared to device measures. For accuracy, multi-item questionnaires, EMAs and logs/diaries with a shorter recall period should be encouraged above single item questions and longer recall periods if sedentary time is a primary outcome of study. Users should also be aware of the high degree of variability between and within tools. Studies should exert caution when comparing associations between different self-report and device measures with health outcomes.
Authors and Affiliations
Stephanie A. Prince1,2, Luca Cardilli3,4, Jennifer L. Reed1,5,6, Travis J. Saunders7, Chris Kite4,8, Kevin Douillette7, Karine Fournier9 & John P. Buckley4
Prince, S.A., Cardilli, L., Reed, J.L. et al. A comparison of self-reported and device measured sedentary behaviour in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 17, 31 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12966-020-00938-3