A comparison of self-reported and device measured sedentary behaviour in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Stephanie A. Prince*, Luca Cardilli, Jennifer L. Reed, Travis J. Saunders, Chris Kite, Kevin Douillette, Karine Fournier, John P. Buckley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Sedentary behaviour (SB) is a risk factor for chronic disease and premature mortality. While many individual studies have examined the reliability and validity of various self-report measures for assessing SB, it is not clear, in general, how self-reported SB (e.g., questionnaires, logs, ecological momentary assessments (EMAs)) compares to device measures (e.g., accelerometers, inclinometers). Objective: The primary objective of this systematic review was to compare self-report versus device measures of SB in adults. Methods: Six bibliographic databases were searched to identify all studies which included a comparable self-report and device measure of SB in adults. Risk of bias within and across studies was assessed. Results were synthesized using meta-analyses. Results: The review included 185 unique studies. A total of 123 studies comprising 173 comparisons and data from 55,199 participants were used to examine general criterion validity. The average mean difference was -105.19 minutes/day (95% CI: -127.21, -83.17); self-report underestimated sedentary time by ~1.74 hours/day compared to device measures. Self-reported time spent sedentary at work was ~40 minutes higher than when assessed by devices. Single item measures performed more poorly than multi-item questionnaires, EMAs and logs/diaries. On average, when compared to inclinometers, multi-item questionnaires, EMAs and logs/diaries were not significantly different, but had substantial amount of variability (up to 6 hours/day within individual studies) with approximately half over-reporting and half under-reporting. A total of 54 studies provided an assessment of reliability of a self-report measure, on average the reliability was good (ICC = 0.66). Conclusions: Evidence from this review suggests that single-item self-report measures generally underestimate sedentary time when compared to device measures. For accuracy, multi-item questionnaires, EMAs and logs/diaries with a shorter recall period should be encouraged above single item questions and longer recall periods if sedentary time is a primary outcome of study. Users should also be aware of the high degree of variability between and within tools. Studies should exert caution when comparing associations between different self-report and device measures with health outcomes. Systematic review registration: PROSPERO CRD42019118755
Original languageEnglish
Article number31
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2020

Bibliographical note

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Keywords

  • Review
  • Self-report
  • device
  • sedentary behaviour
  • systematic review

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