Two Valid Measures of Self-rated Physical Activity and Capacity

Marit Sundal Holena, Rønnaug Een a, Thomas Mildestvedt a, Geir Egil Eide a, b, Eivind Meland a, *
a Department of Public Health and Primary Health Care, Research Group for General Practice, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
b Center for Clinical Research, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway, and Department of Public Health and Primary Health Care, Lifestyle Epidemiology Research Group, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway

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© Holen et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Public Health and Primary Health Care, University of Bergen, Kalfarveien 31, N-5018 Bergen, Norway; Tel: +4755586155; Fax: +4755586130; E-mail:



Questionnaires on physical activity (PA) and physical capacity (PC) are valuable tools, as they are cost beneficial, and have high response rates. The validity of short versions of such questionnaires has not been examined satisfactorily. Therefore, we aimed at examining the validity of a set of questions coding for PA and PC.


The questions were administered to 217 men and women attending a cardiac rehabilitation program. Participants also gave blood samples, measuring HDL cholesterol, triglycerides (TG), insulin, glucose, and microCRP. The relations between PA and PC and biological markers were examined by linear regression analyses.


Measures for PC and for PA were identified by factor analysis, which proved internally consistent. TG, homeostatic model assessment (HOMA) score, and mCRP were all significantly associated with the measures of PC and PA.


The measures of PA and PC are valid compared with biological markers, allowing cost-beneficial and time-efficient evaluation of important measures for cardiovascular health.

Keywords: Cardiac rehabilitation, motor activities, outcome assessment, physical fitness, questionnaires..