Sedentary and physical activity time differs between self-reported ATLS-2 physical activity questionnaire and accelerometer measurements in adolescents and young adults in the United Arab Emirates

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BMC Public Health


Background: Most young adults and adolescents in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) do not meet the established internationally recommended physical activity levels per day. The Arab Teen Lifestyle Study (ATLS) physical activity questionnaire has been recommended for measuring self-reported physical activity of Arab adolescents and young adults (aged 14 years to mid-twenties). The first version of the ATLS has been validated with accelerometers and pedometers (r ≤ 0.30). The revised version of the questionnaire (ATLS-2, 2021) needs further validation. The aim of this study was to validate the self-reported subjective sedentary and physical activity time of the ATLS-2 (revised version) physical activity questionnaire with that of Fibion accelerometer-measured data. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 131 healthy adolescents and young adults (aged 20.47 ± 2.16 [mean ± SD] years (range 14–25 years), body mass index 23.09 ± 4.45 (kg/m2) completed the ATLS-2 and wore the Fibion accelerometer for a maximum of 7 days. Participants (n = 131; 81% non-UAE Arabs (n = 106), 13% Asians (n = 17) and 6% Emiratis (n = 8)) with valid ATLS-2 data without missing scores and Fibion data of minimum 10 h/day for at least 3 weekdays and 1 weekend day were analyzed. Concurrent validity between the two methods was assessed by the Spearman rho correlation and Bland-Altman plots. Results: The questionnaire underestimated sedentary and physical activity time compared to the accelerometer data. Only negligible to weak correlations (r ≤ 0.12; p > 0.05) were found for sitting, walking, cycling, moderate intensity activity, high intensity activity and total activity time. In addition, a proportional/systematic bias was evident in the plots for all but two (walking and moderate intensity activity time) of the outcome measures of interest. Conclusions: Overall, self-reported ATLS-2 sedentary and physical activity time had low correlation and agreement with objective Fibion accelerometer measurements in adolescents and young adults in the UAE. Therefore, sedentary and physical activity assessment for these groups should not be limited to self-reported measures.



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