Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 1121–1126 | Cite as

Agreement between accelerometer-assessed and self-reported physical activity and sedentary time in colon cancer survivors

  • Terry Boyle
  • Brigid M. Lynch
  • Kerry S. Courneya
  • Jeff K. Vallance
Original Article



Research conducted on the general population indicates self-reported measures of physical activity and sedentary behaviour are inaccurate when compared with objective measures; however, it is not clear if this also applies to cancer survivors. In this study, we compared accelerometer-based and self-reported measures of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity (MVPA) and sedentary time among colon cancer survivors.


A total of 176 colon cancer survivors, recruited from the Western Australia and Alberta cancer registries, wore an Actigraph GT3X+ accelerometer for 7 days and completed self-reported questions about recent MVPA (Godin Leisure-Time Exercise Questionnaire) and usual sedentary time (Marshall Domain-Specific Sitting Questionnaire). Accelerometer data were processed using 60-s epochs and summarized using Freedson’s cut points. Spearman’s rho and intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) were used to assess correlation and agreement for daily MVPA and sedentary time estimates from the two methods.


Total mean minutes per day spent in MVPA was 12 min based on accelerometer data and 26 min based on self-reported data (P Difference  < 0.01). Correlation between the methods was fair (rho = 0.51); however, agreement was poor (ICC = 0.33). Mean daily time spent sedentary was similar in both methods (∼8.5 h); however, both correlation and agreement were poor (rho = 0.19, ICC = 0.16).


We found fair correlation but poor agreement between the self-reported and accelerometer-based assessments of MVPA used in this study. For sedentary time, both correlation and agreement between the two methods were poor. Studies of colon cancer survivors using these self-report measures are likely to have a considerable amount of exposure misclassification.


Physical activity Sedentary time Validity Accelerometer Colon cancer 



Terry Boyle and Brigid Lynch are supported by Early Career Fellowships from the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (#1072266 & #586727 respectively). Terry Boyle is also supported by a Fellowship from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (#300068), a Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (#5553), and an Honorary Killam Postdoctoral Research Fellowship from The University of British Columbia. Brigid Lynch is also supported by the Victorian Government’s Operational Infrastructure Support Program. Jeff Vallance and Kerry Courneya are supported by the Canada Research Chairs program. Jeff Vallance is also supported by a Population Health Investigator Award from Alberta Innovates—Health Solutions. We would like to acknowledge Parneet Sethi and Dr. Elisabeth Winkler for their assistance in data processing and analyses.

Conflict of interest

None of the authors have any conflicts of interest to declare.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Terry Boyle
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Brigid M. Lynch
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
  • Kerry S. Courneya
    • 7
  • Jeff K. Vallance
    • 8
  1. 1.Cancer Control ResearchBC Cancer Research Centre, BC Cancer AgencyVancouverCanada
  2. 2.School of Population and Public HealthThe University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  3. 3.Centre for Medical ResearchThe University of Western AustraliaPerthAustralia
  4. 4.Physical Activity LaboratoryBaker IDI Heart and Diabetes InstituteMelbourneAustralia
  5. 5.School of Population and Global HealthThe University of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia
  6. 6.Cancer Epidemiology CentreCancer Council VictoriaMelbourneAustralia
  7. 7.Behavioural Medicine Laboratory, Faculty of Physical Education and RecreationUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  8. 8.Faculty of Health DisciplinesAthabasca UniversityAthabascaCanada

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