Journal of Urban Health

, Volume 84, Issue 5, pp 722–732

Traditional Physical Activity Indexes Derived from the Harvard Alumni Activity Survey Have Low Construct Validity in a Lower Income, Urban Population

  • Andrew Rundle
  • Marshall Hagins
  • Manuela Orjuela
  • Laverne Mooney
  • Marty Kim
  • Frederica Perera
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11524-007-9212-4

Cite this article as:
Rundle, A., Hagins, M., Orjuela, M. et al. J Urban Health (2007) 84: 722. doi:10.1007/s11524-007-9212-4

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to investigate the construct validity of the Harvard Alumni Activity Survey (HAAS) in an urban, lower income population. Data were collected from 192 smokers enrolled in an antioxidant micronutrient trial. Activity data were compared to body mass index (BMI), diastolic, and systolic blood pressure. The traditional physical activity index (PAI), using data on stair climbing, walking, and sports, was calculated including and excluding body mass. A new scale, the total weekly activity (TWA) scale, was derived from other questions on the HAAS. The PAI scale calculated with body mass was unassociated with BMI and blood pressure. The PAI scale calculated without body mass was unassociated with BMI and systolic blood pressure but was associated with diastolic blood pressure (Beta = −0.001, p = 0.03). The TWA scale was associated with BMI (Beta = −0.01, p = 0.01), diastolic (Beta = −0.03, p = 0.01), and systolic blood pressure (Beta = −0.04, p = 0.01). A one standard deviation change in the TWA scale is predicted to be equivalent to a change of 0.99 BMI units, 2.97 mmHg of diastolic blood pressure, and 3.96 mmHg of systolic blood pressure. This work suggests that the TWA scale has greater construct validity than the traditional PAI scale in this population.

Keywords

Physical activity Questionnaires Validity Socioeconomic status 

Abbreviations

BMI

body mass index

HAAS

Harvard alumni activity survey

PAI

physical activity index

TWA

total weekly activity

Copyright information

© The New York Academy of Medicine 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew Rundle
    • 1
    • 4
  • Marshall Hagins
    • 2
  • Manuela Orjuela
    • 3
  • Laverne Mooney
    • 3
  • Marty Kim
    • 3
  • Frederica Perera
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public HealthColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Division of Physical Therapy, School of Health ProfessionsLong Island University, Brooklyn CampusBrooklynUSA
  3. 3.Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Mailman School of Public HealthColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  4. 4.Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public HealthColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

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