European Journal of Epidemiology

, Volume 24, Issue 4, pp 171–179 | Cite as

Relationships of self-reported physical activity domains with accelerometry recordings in French adults

  • David Jacobi
  • Marie-Aline Charles
  • Muriel Tafflet
  • Agnès Lommez
  • Jean-Michel Borys
  • Jean-Michel Oppert


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.


Accelerometry Lifestyle Physical activity Questionnaire Sedentary behavior Occupation 



Fleurbaix-Laventie Ville-Santé


International physical activity questionnaire


Modifiable activity questionnaire


Physical activity



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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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Jacobi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Marie-Aline Charles
    • 3
  • Muriel Tafflet
    • 3
  • Agnès Lommez
    • 4
  • Jean-Michel Borys
    • 4
  • Jean-Michel Oppert
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Nutrition, Pitié-Salpétrière Hospital (AP-HP); Human Nutrition Research Center Ile-de-France (CRNH-IdF)University Pierre et Marie Curie-Paris 6ParisFrance
  2. 2.Department of Internal Medicine and NutritionCHRU de ToursToursFrance
  3. 3.INSERM Unit 780, 94807 Villejuif cedex; IFR 69, VillejuifUniversity Paris–Sud XIOrsayFrance
  4. 4.Fleurbaix-Laventie AssociationLaventieFrance

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