The aim was to assess the construct validity characteristics of an adapted version of the long International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ-L) and report seasonal variations in physical activity (PA).
In two multiethnic suburbs of Oslo, Norway, all men and women aged 31–67 years (N = 6140) were invited to a survey in 2000, and participants (N = 2950) were re-invited in 2003. Complete IPAQ-L forms were delivered by 2274 baseline participants. We used the first IPAQ-L version, which asks for PA in a usual week with separate answering alternatives for summer and winter. Baseline energy expenditure calculated from IPAQ-L was compared with anthropometrical and biological measurements including maximal aerobic power in a subgroup, and individual changes in PA were compared with changes in these measurements.
Vigorous PA within all domains, leisure-time PA (LPA), total PA, and in men occupational PA correlated with waist-to-hip ratio (rho around -0.1, p < 0.05). For vigorous PA and LPA similar correlations were found with triglycerides and high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (rho 0.1, p < 0.05). LPA was correlated with maximal aerobic power in both sexes with rho 0.2 for total LPA and 0.4 for vigorous LPA (p < 0.01). In men, similar correlations were found for changes in total vigorous PA.
The overall energy expenditure reported was 18% higher in summer than in winter. The amount of total and commuting PA in the two seasons were highly correlated with rho values of 0.9 and 0.7, respectively (p < 0.01).
Weak, but consistent correlations with baseline biological and anthropometrical measurements were found in both sexes, but for changes in PA such a pattern was seen in men only. The total energy expenditure in summer and winter were highly correlated although the absolute volume was higher in summer than in winter.