Test-retest reliability of the twin cities walking survey

Ann Forsyth, J. Michael Oakes, Kathryn H. Schmitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Background: The Twin Cities Walking Study measured the associations of built environment versus socioeconomic and psychosocial variables with total physical activity and walking for 716 adults. Methods: This article reports on the test-retest reliability of the survey portion of the study. To test the reliability of the study measures, 158 respondents completed measures twice within 1 to 4 weeks. Agreement between participants' responses was measured using Pearson r and Spearman rho, and kappa statistics. Results: Demographic questions are highly reliable (R > .8). Questions about environmental and social features are typically less reliable (rho range = 0.42-0.91). Reliability of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (last 7 days version) was low (rho = 0.15 for total activity). Conclusions: Much of the survey has acceptable-to-good reliability. The low test-retest reliability points to potential limitations of using a single administration of the IPAQ to characterize habitual physical activity. Implications for sound inference are accordingly complicated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-131
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Physical Activity and Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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