Sport Sciences for Health

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 157–164 | Cite as

Perceived and objectively measured physical activity in high school students: is there any link between aerobic fitness, psychological responses and acute exercise?

  • Matteo VandoniEmail author
  • Cosme F. Buzzachera
  • Sara Ottobrini
  • Luca Correale
  • Paola Borrelli
  • Francesca Gigli Berzolari
  • Erwan Codrons
Original Article


Background and aim

The purpose of this study was to compare the amount of physical activity and sedentary time from the self-administered, long version of the IPAQ with an objective measure of them using an accelerometer in a high school student’s sample. The present study also examined whether the amount of physical activity and sedentary time is related to aerobic fitness or psychological responses to acute exercise.


Thirty adolescents from an Italian high school wore accelerometers for five days and completed the IPAQ questionnaire. Criterion-related validity was determined by Spearman correlations between IPAQ questionnaire scores and minutes of accelerometer-measured sedentary time, moderate and vigorous activities. Participants also completed a maximal graded exercise test to assess aerobic fitness, expressed as \( \dot{V} \)O2max, and psychological responses (i.e., perceived exertion and affective valence) to acute exercise.


Spearman correlation coefficients between IPAQ questionnaire scores and minutes of accelerometer-measured sedentary time and moderate activities were low (ρ = −0.19 and ρ = 0.23, respectively) and not statistically significant (p values > 0.05), but not for vigorous activities (ρ = 0.62; p < 0.05). No significant correlation was found between minutes of accelerometer-measured sedentary time, moderate, and vigorous activity and aerobic fitness or psychological responses to acute exercise (p values > 0.05).


This study identifies prolonged time spent being sedentary each day and poor perception of individual sedentary time and moderate activities among high school students, irrespective of aerobic fitness and psychological responses to acute exercise. Interventions to minimize sedentary time are recommended to ensure that the school environment does not adversely affect long-term health.


Physical activity Youth Validity Questionnaire Accelerometer 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and conform to the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000.

Informed consent

The subjects were informed about the aims and the procedures and signed a written consent form.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Adapted Motor Activity (LAMA), Department of Public Health, Experimental and Forensic MedicineUniversity of PaviaPaviaItaly
  2. 2.Laboratory of Exercise Physiology, Department of Physical EducationNorth University of ParanáLondrinaBrazil
  3. 3.Unit of Biostatistics and Clinical Epidemiology, Department of Public Health, Experimental and Forensic MedicineUniversity of PaviaPaviaItaly

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