The objective was to examine the relationships of self-reported physical activity (PA) by domain (leisure, occupational, other) with PA and sedentary time as measured objectively by accelerometry. Subjects were adults with low habitual PA levels from a community in northern France. Among subjects in the lowest tertile of a PA score from a screening questionnaire, 160 (37% males, age: 41.0 ± 10.8 years, BMI: 25.1 ± 4.1 kg/m2, mean ± SD) completed a detailed instrument (Modifiable Activity Questionnaire), and wore an accelerometer (Actigraph) for seven consecutive days. Relationships between questionnaire domains (occupational, leisure, and “non-occupational non-leisure”) and accelerometry measures (total activity and sedentary time) were assessed using Spearman correlation coefficients. In this population, the highest contributor to total reported PA (h/week) was occupational PA. Time spent in non-occupational non-leisure PA ranked second in women and third in men. The most frequent non-occupational non-leisure PA were shopping and household chores. In women, non-occupational non-leisure PA contributed more than occupational or leisure-time PA to total PA energy expenditure (median: 18.0, 9.1, and 4.9 MET-h/week, respectively). Total PA by accelerometry (count/day) was correlated to leisure-time PA in women (r = 0.22, P < 0.05) and to occupational (r = 0.43, P < 0.01) and total reported PA (r = 0.39, P < 0.01) in men (all in MET-h/week). There was an inverse relationship between accelerometry sedentary time (h/day) and non-occupational non-leisure PA (MET-h/week, r = −0.30, P < 0.001). These findings indicate the importance of assessing non-occupational non-leisure PA for a better understanding of how individuals partition their time between active or sedentary occupations.
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The authors gratefully thank Leila Mhamdi, PhD, for her assistance in data analysis. We thank Cedus, Go Sport, Fournier Pharma, Roche, Lesieur, and Nestlé France for their support to the Fleurbaix-Laventie Ville-Santé study. This project was supported by a research-action grant from the French Ministry of Health—National Nutrition and Health Program (PNNS-2002).
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