Sedentary Behaviour Questionnaires

Numerous questionnaires are currently available for the measurement of sedentary behaviours. The psychometric properties of questionnaires used in the pediatric populations have recently been reviewed by both Hidding et el (available here), and Lubans et al. (available here). These reviews serve as excellent resources on the pediatric literature.

Further, in 2017 Prince et al. (available here) reviewed all English-language questionnaires used to assess sedentary behaviour in national- and international- population surveillance surveys.  They also collected the psychometric properties of all available English language questionnaires in both pediatric and adult populations. They also make recommendations on preferred question wording, resulting in the International Sedentary Assessment Tool (ISAT).  The ISAT detailed in this paper, and the English version can be downloaded as a Word document here.

The data on specific questionnaires included in the Prince et al. review are included below.  These databases are open to editing, and therefore SBRN members are encouraged to add questionnaires to the appropriate database as they come available (please add a link to the questionnaire itself, and request permission before including specific questions from questionnaires which are under copyright).  Given that these databases only cover English-language surveys, we are happy to begin similar databases for other languages.  If you are interested in leading a database in a specific language, please contact trsaunders (at) upei (dot) ca.

Finally, below is a list of some of the most widely used English-language questionnaires for measuring sedentary behaviour. However, many other questionnaires have been described in the above reviews.  Thus, for a full list, please see the appropriate database above.

Sedentary Behaviour Questionnaires

1. Bouchard Physical Activity Questionnaire

Description: 3-day activity diary, with each day divided into 96 periods of 15 minutes each. Participants asked code the main activity performed during each 15-minute period using a scale from 1 to 9, ranging from sleeping (category 1) to intense manual work (category 9). Sedentary behaviour can be calculated as the sum of time identified as being in category 2 (“Sitting: eating, listening, writing, etc”). (Source)

Available from American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

2. Previous-Day Recall of Active and Sedentary Behaviours

Description: An interviewer administered previous-day recall of sedentary and active behaviours in adults and adolescents.  Validation study concluded that “Correlations between the PDR and the activPAL were high, systematic reporting errors were low, and the validity of the PDR was comparable with the ActiGraph.”

Available from Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.

3. International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ)

Description: A questionnaire that can be administered in person or over the phone.  Participants are asked to to list the amount of time that they spend sitting at work, at home, while doing course work, during leisure time (including watching television), as well as time spent in a motor vehicle.

Available as both a short-form and long-form questionnaire in 20+ languages/dialects via the IPAQ website.

4. Marshall Sitting Questionnaire

Description: A questionnaire that assessed time spent sitting on weekdays and weekend days: 1) traveling to and from places, 2) at work, 3) watching television, 4) using a computer at home, and 5) for leisure, not including television.

Results and from validation study: “Reliability coefficients were high for weekday sitting time at work, watching television, and using a computer at home (r = 0.84-0.78) but lower for weekend days across all domains (r = 0.23-0.74). Validity coefficients were highest for weekday sitting time at work and using a computer at home (r = 0.69-0.74). With the exception of computer use and watching television for women, validity of the weekend-day sitting time items was low.

Validation/reliability study available from Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.

5. Workplace Sitting Questionnaire (adapted from Marshall Questionnaire)

Description: A measure of total and domain-specific sitting time based on work and non-workdays in adults.  Asks about sitting time (1) while travelling to and from places; (2) while at work; (3) while watching TV; (4) while using a computer at home; and (5) while doing other leisure activities on work and non-workdays.

Results from validation study: “Measuring total sitting time based on a workday, non-workday and on average had fair to excellent test–retest reliability (ICC=0.46–0.90) and had sufficient criterion validity against accelerometry in women (r=0.22–0.46) and men (r=0.18–0.29). Measuring domain-specific sitting at work on a workday was also reliable (ICC=0.63) and valid (r=0.45).

Available from the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

6. SIT-Q

Description: The SIT-Q was developed to assess habitual sedentary behaviour across a variety of domains. It is currently being used in a number of epidemiological studies, including the BETA Trial.

The questionnaire is available for download at the following link: Sit-Q.  You can also download the SIT-Q administration and analytic guide, and the validation paper published in BMC Public Health.

6.5 SIT-Q 7-d

Description: An expanded version of the SIT-Q using a 7-day reference frame.  The validation study is currently in press at Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise (a link will be provided once the study is available online).

The questionnaire is available here,  the validation paper is available here..

7. The Sedentary Behaviour Questionnaire (SBQ)

Description (from the validation paper): “The SBQ was designed to assess the amount of time spent doing 9 behaviors (watching television, playing computer/video games, sitting while listening to music, sitting and talking on the phone, doing paperwork or office work, sitting and reading, playing a musical instrument, doing arts and crafts, sitting and driving/riding in a car, bus, or train). The 9 items were completed separately for weekdays and weekend days. Wording for weekday reporting was, “on a typical weekday, how much time do you spend (from when you wake up until you go to bed) doing the following?”

Results: “ICCs were acceptable for all items and the total scale (range = .51-.93). For men, there were significant relationships of SBQ items with IPAQ sitting time and BMI.

The questionnaire is available here, while the validation paper is available from the Journal of Physical Activity and Health.

8. The Adolescent Sedentary Activity Questionnaire (ASAQ)

Description: A questionnaire designed for use in adolescents, which provides information related to screen time, education (e.g. homework), travel, cultural (reading, crafts, etc) and social (relaxing with friends, going to church, etc) sedentary behaviours.  Has been shown to be valid, reliable, and sensitive to changes in sedentary time.

The questionnaire is available here, and the validation article is available here.

9. Rapid Assessment Disuse Index (RADI)

Description:  A tool for rapidly quantifying and tracking the sedentary time and low levels of daily lifestyle physical activity among primary care patients.

Results of the validation study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine:  “RADI was temporally stable (intraclass correlation coefficients 0.79), and a higher score was significantly correlated with greater sedentary time (ρ=0.40; p<0.01), fewer sedentary to active transitions (ρ=-0.42; p<0.01), and less light-intensity physical activity (ρ=-0.40; p<0.01). The ability of RADI to detect patients with high levels of sedentary time was fair (AUC=0.72).”

Available via the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

10. Measure of Older Adults' Sedentary Time (MOST)

Description: A questionnaire that assesses time spent in behaviors common among older adults: watching television, computer use, reading, socializing, transport and hobbies, and a summary measure (total sedentary time).

Results from a validation study: “Test-retest reliability was excellent for television viewing time (ρ (95% CI) = 0.78 (0.63-0.89)), computer use (ρ (95% CI) = 0.90 (0.83-0.94)), and reading (ρ (95% CI) = 0.77 (0.62-0.86)); acceptable for hobbies (ρ (95% CI) = 0.61 (0.39-0.76)); and poor for socializing and transport (ρ < 0.45). Total sedentary time had acceptable test-retest reliability (ρ (95% CI) = 0.52 (0.27-0.70)) and validity (ρ (95% CI) = 0.30 (0.02-0.54)). Self-report total sedentary time was similarly responsive to change (RS = 0.47) as accelerometer-derived sedentary time (RS = 0.39).

MOST questionnaire is available here.  Validation study available via Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, and an example of its use is available in PLOS ONE.

11. Past-day Adults' Sedentary Time (PAST)

Description: A 7-item questionnaire that asks questions about sedentary behaviours on the previous day.

Results from validation study, published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise: “The PAST had fair to good test-retest reliability (intraclass correlation coefficient = 0.50, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.32-0.64). At baseline, the correlation between PAST and activPAL sit/lie time was r = 0.57 (95% CI = 0.39-0.71). The mean difference between PAST at baseline and retest was -25 min (5.2%), 95% limits of agreement = -5.9 to 5.0 h, and the activPAL sit/lie time was -9 min (1.8%), 95% limits of agreement = -4.9 to 4.6 h. The PAST showed small but significant responsiveness (-0.44, 95% CI = -0.92 to -0.04); responsiveness of activPAL sit/lie time was not significant.

PAST questionnaire available here, validation study available via MSSE.

12. LASA Sedentary Behavior Questionnaire

Description: A 10-item questionnaire that asks about weekday and weekend day sedentary behaviour.

Results from the validation study, published in BMC Geriatrics: “Mean total self-reported sedentary time was 10.4 (SD 3.5) h/d and was not significantly different from mean total objective sedentary time (10.2 (1.2) h/d, p = 0.63). Total self-reported sedentary time on an average day (sum often activities) correlated moderately (Spearman’s r = 0.35, p < 0.01) with total objective sedentary time. The correlation improved when using the sum of six activities (r = 0.46, p < 0.01), and was much higher than when using TV watching only (r = 0.22, p = 0.05). The test-retest reliability of the sum of six sedentary activities was 0.71 (95% CI 0.57-0.81).”

The questionnaire is available here, and the validation study is available here.

13. Occupational Sitting and Physical Activity Questionnaire (OSPAQ)

Description: A questionnaire that focuses on workplace sitting and physical activity.

Results from the validation study, published in MSSE: “The test–retest intraclass correlation coefficients for occupational sitting, standing, and walking for OSPAQ ranged from 0.73 to 0.90, while that for the modified MOSPA-Q [a separate questionnaire] ranged from 0.54 to 0.89. Comparison of sitting measures with accelerometers showed higher Spearman correlations for the OSPAQ (r = 0.65) than for the modified MOSPA-Q (r = 0.52). Criterion validity correlations for occupational standing and walking measures were comparable for both instruments with accelerometers (standing:r = 0.49; walking:r = 0.27–0.29).”

The questionnaire is available here, and the validation study is available via MSSE.




  1. Tasie says:

    Hi…thanks for this, it was very helpful. Please I need the scoring protocol for sedentary behavior questionnaire(SBQ). I have searched everywhere for it but I have not come across it. If you can even give me a link of studies that used I’m the SBQ for data collection, I will be very greatful. I need a reply as soon as possible. Thanks

  2. Dr. Ekta Bhushan Satsangi says:

    can you please send the key for sedentary behavior questionnaire.

  3. Jordi Vilaro says:

    I’m a researcher of the Global Research on Wellbeing group, Ramon Llull University in Barcelona.

    We are interested in to translate and validate some of the questionnaires into spanish.

    Should we have this possibility? Do we have to ask permision to SBRN?


  4. Aries says:

    Hi…thanks for this, it was very helpful. Please I need the scoring protocol for sedentary behavior questionnaire(SBQ). I have searched everywhere for it but I have not come across it. If you can even give me a link of studies that used I’m the SBQ for data collection, I will be very greatful. I need a reply as soon as possible. Thanks

  5. shelby lea stubbs says:

    Hello, does any some know the author and year of the sedentary behavior questionnaire?


  6. Alberto Aibar Solana says:

    From all these questionnaires… Which one do you think that is better for assessing children?

    Thank you

  7. Sarah F. says:

    The link for the MOST survey is broken. Can you please correct?

    • Jennifer A says:

      I am also attempting to access the MOST questionnaire without success. Please can you advise on how to access?

  8. Travis says:

    Hi all,

    This page was originally created several years ago, and since then some of the links have moved. We will be updating the links this summer.

    FYI – there is no marking key for the SBQ. Researchers can either focus on the time spent in specific types of sedentary behaviour, or take the sum of related behaviours (e.g. screen and non-screen sedentary behaviours).


  9. Gemma says:

    Hi all,

    Does anyone know how to handle missing data from the Marshall Sitting Questionniare? Unsure whether to assume these missing items are ”0” or to exclude these people from my anlaysis (would like to avoid!). I also don’t want to substitute means as the sample is modest.

    Also wondering if anyone has any advice on handling data from this questionnaire when the total time spent sitting per day adds up to more than 24 hours? (i.e. participant has maybe read question as weekly total rather than daily estimate?) In these examples dividing by 5 for weekday and 2 for weekend brings the numbers in line with the other participants responses however unsure if this would be acceptable.

    Many thanks in advance,

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