Journal of Public Health

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 66–70 | Cite as

Development of the World Health Organization Global Physical Activity Questionnaire (GPAQ)

  • Timothy ArmstrongEmail author
  • Fiona Bull
Review Article


The aim of developing the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Physical Activity Questionnaire (GPAQ) was to have a tool that would produce valid and reliable estimates of physical activity, especially relevant to developing countries where patterns of energy expenditure differ from developed countries because people experience diverse ways of life. The development of a standardized tool to measure physical activity that enables comparisons across culturally diverse populations is a challenging task. Comparable, valid, and reliable information on physical activity enables countries to follow trends over time, understand regional and global comparisons, and better inform physical activity policy decisions. A WHO expert working group on physical activity measurement provided a draft GPAQ for global consultation. The draft instrument was validated in nine countries. Validation studies and qualitative feedback on GPAQ were presented at an Expert Meeting on Global Physical Activity Surveillance held jointly by WHO and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A second round of global consultation led to minor revisions and preparation of a final GPAQ version 2 instrument (GPAQv2). Around 50 developing countries are now using GPAQ for physical activity data collection. GPAQv2 is a suitable physical activity surveillance instrument for developing countries.


Physical activity Measurement Surveillance Epidemiology 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Surveillance and Population-based Prevention, Department of Chronic Diseases and Health PromotionWorld Health OrganizationGeneva 27Switzerland
  2. 2.BHF National Centre for Physical Activity and Health, School of Sport & Exercise SciencesLoughborough UniversityLoughboroughUnited Kingdom

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