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Adaptation of the Modified Habitual Physical Activity
ISSNe: 2182.2883 | ISSNp: 0874.0283
Disponível em: http://dx.doi.org/10.12707/RIII1303
RESEARCH PAPER
Adaptation of the Modified Habitual Physical Activity
Questionnaire (Baecke) to the portuguese population Adaptação do Habitual Physical Activity Questionnaire (Baecke), versão modificada, para a
população portuguesa
Adaptación del cuestionario Habitual Physical Activity Questionnaire (Baecke), versión
modificada, para la población portuguesa
Maria Celeste Bastos Almeida*; José Luís Pais Ribeiro**
Abstract
Theoretical Framework: The use of questionnaires to assess physical activity has become widespread in recent years.
Objectives: To contribute to a modified version of the Habitual Physical Activity Questionnaire (Baecke) to the portuguese
population; describe the linguistic adaptation process of the questionnaire and analyse its psychometric properties; assess the
level of physical activity; and analyse the relationship between the socio-demographic variables and the level of physical activity.
Methodology: Items were independently translated and back-translated and a first version of the questionnaire was applied in a
pilot study, resulting in a consensus version. The portuguese version was administered to a convenience sample, with 339 adults
in the community, aged between 23 and 60 years, both female (69.9%) and male (30.1%).
Results: The portuguese version was found to have satisfactory psychometric qualities, which were identical to those of the
original questionnaire. It is a short instrument, easily understood and well accepted by participants.
Conclusion: The application of this questionnaire allows for an initial assessment of the level of physical activity in leisure time
to support the planning of interventions promoting physical activity.
Keywords: physical activity; exercise; questionnaires.
Resumo
Resumen
Enquadramento: O uso de questionários para avaliar a atividade
física generalizou-se nos últimos anos.
Objetivos: Contribuir para a adaptação à população portuguesa,
do Habitual Physical Activity Questionnaire; descrever o
processo de adaptação linguística e analisar as suas propriedades
psicométricas; avaliar a atividade física e analisar as relações das
variáveis sociodemográficas com a atividade física.
Metodologia: Tradução e retroversão dos itens, realizadas de
forma independente, e uma primeira versão do questionário foi
aplicada num estudo piloto, resultando uma versão de consenso.
A versão portuguesa foi aplicada a uma amostra de conveniência,
de 339 adultos da comunidade, com idades compreendidas entre
os 23 e os 60 anos, do sexo feminino (69,9%) e do sexo masculino
(30,1%).
Resultados: A versão portuguesa revelou possuir qualidades
psicométricas satisfatórias e idênticas às do questionário original.
É um instrumento curto, de fácil compreensão e bem aceite pelos
participantes.
Conclusão: A aplicação deste questionário permite fazer um
diagnóstico inicial em relação à atividade física no tempo de lazer
para sustentar o planeamento de intervenções promotoras da
atividade física.
Marco contextual: El uso de cuestionarios para evaluar la
actividad física se ha generalizado en los últimos años.
Objetivo: Contribuir a la adaptación para la población portuguesa del Habitual Physical Activity Questionnaire (Cuestionario de Baecke); describir el proceso de adaptación lingüística del cuestionario y analizar sus propiedades psicométricas;
evaluar el nivel de actividad física, y analizar la relación de las
variables sociodemográficas con el nivel de actividad física.
Metodología: La traducción y la traducción inversa de los
ítems se realizaron de forma independiente, y una primera
versión del cuestionario se aplicó en un estudio piloto, lo
que dio como resultado una versión de consenso. La versión portuguesa fue administrada a una muestra de conveniencia, con 339 participantes, adultos de la comunidad con
una edad comprendida entre 23 y 60 años (M = 36, DT
= 8,39), del sexo femenino (69,9 %) y masculino (30,1 %),
profesionales de la salud (57,5 %) y profesores (42,5 %).
Resultados: La versión portuguesa demostró que tiene
propiedades psicométricas satisfactorias e idénticas a las
del cuestionario original. Se trata de un instrumento breve,
de fácil comprensión y bien aceptado por los participantes.
Conclusión: La aplicación de este cuestionario permite realizar una evaluación inicial sobre el nivel de actividad física en
el tiempo libre para apoyar la planificación de las intervenciones de promoción de la actividad física en la población.
Palavras-chave:
questionários.
atividade
física;
exercício
físico;
* Adjunct Teacher, Porto Nursing College, 4700-072, Porto, Portugal [[email protected]]. Address
for correspondence: Escola Superior de Enfermagem do Porto, Rua Dr. António Bernardino de
Almeida, 4700-072 Porto, Portugal.
** Associate Professor with aggregation, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, University
of Porto, 4200-135, Porto, Portugal [[email protected]].
Revista de Enfermagem Referência
Palabras clave: actividad física; ejercicio físico; cuestionarios.
Received for publication: ??.??.13
Accepted for publication: ??.??.14
Série IV - n.° 3 - nov./dez. 2014
pp.27-35
muscles that results in energy expenditure above
resting level, and includes all activities of daily living,
such as occupational, sport, household or leisure
activities (Caspersen, Powell, & Christenson, 1985).
Physical exercise is a more specific type of physical
activity, which may be regarded as a subcategory,
because it encompasses an activity that is planned,
structured and repetitive that is expected to improve
physical fitness (Caspersen et al., 1985).
Sport is another term often associated with
physical activity and physical exercise, and lacking
a consensual definition. Acknowledging the
difficulty of conceptualisation, which goes beyond
the scope of this research study, we consider that,
for the purpose of this work, sports may include
a more organised and regulated activity, oriented
towards competition or not, and also more informal
scheduled and regular sport activities. Therefore, we
aim at covering a broader side of sports as a human
activity that can be performed by the population
in general and not restrict it to an area of the
institutionalised social activity, oriented towards
competition.
Several methods to assess physical activity are referred
to in the literature; however, in epidemiological
studies or studies with high numbers of participants,
questionnaires are the methods of choice (Hertogh,
Monninkhof, Schouten, Peeters, & Schuit,
2008). Despite the limitations of these methods,
questionnaires imply lower costs and are easier to
use (Ono et al., 2007). Furthermore, their linguistic
and cultural adaptation allows for the comparison
between different populations.
Among several questionnaires, the Habitual Physical
Activity Questionnaire (Baecke, Burema, & Frijters,
1982), often designated as Baecke Questionnaire, is
a short and easy-to-use instrument (Ono et al.,
2007), which allows comparing participants in terms
of physical activity and, simultaneously, identifying
behaviours that may be changed to increase the level
of physical activity. That was the reason for choosing
this questionnaire for this study. The Habitual Physical Activity Questionnaire (HPAQ)
has been used with different populations and its
psychometric qualities have been recognised to assess
the level of habitual physical activity in adult men
(Florindo & Latorre, 2003), in the elderly (Hertogh
et al., 2008) and in women with hip disorders
(Ono et al., 2007). In Portugal, no version of the
Introduction
Physical activity is considered to play an important
role in health. Meta-analytic studies demonstrate
its benefits in preventing chronic diseases (Kruk,
2007), reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases
(Li & Siegrist, 2012), and preventing and treating
high blood pressure (Barengo, Gang, & Tuomilehto,
2007). It is also a protective factor of vascular
dementia (Aarsland, Sardahaee, Anderssen, & Ballard,
2010).
The low prevalence of physical activity was reported,
in 2008, in a study conducted by the World Health
Organization in 51 countries (Guthold, Ono, Strong,
Chatterji, & Morabia, 2008) and an international study
on the prevalence of physical activity covering 20
countries (Bauman et al., 2009). Furthermore, there is
evidence of differences in the level of physical activity
according to gender (Bauman et al., 2009; Hirsch et
al., 2010; Palacios-Ceña et al., 2011), marital status
(Palacios-Ceña et al., 2011; Sobal & Hanson, 2010; Yu
et al., 2011) and educational level (Baecke, Burema, &
Frijters, 1982; Yu et al., 2011). Already in 1995, the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention (CDC) and the American College
of Sports Medicine (ACSM) presented the national
recommendations for the type and amount of
physical activity needed (Haskell et al., 2007).
However, the growing interest in promoting physical
activity was triggered mainly by the proposal of the
World Health Organization: Global Strategy on Diet,
Physical Activity and Health ( WHO, 2004), which
conveyed the need to promote physical activity in
everyday life and across the various settings where
it occurs (for example, at home, in the workplace,
at school, in the community) as the main strategy
for reducing the risk of chronic non-communicable
diseases.
Background
Physical activity is a multidimensional behaviour
involving several variables and also a complex and
not easily measured behaviour (Aarsland et al., 2010).
Although physical activity and physical exercise are
often used with the same meaning, their definition
is conceptually different. Physical activity is defined
as any bodily movement produced by the skeletal
Adaptation of the Modified Habitual Physical Activity Questionnaire (Baecke)
to the Portuguese population Revista de Enfermagem Referência - IV - n.° 3 - 2014
28
questionnaire has ever been published in a scientific
journal that described the adaptation process of the
instrument to the portuguese population. That is the
reason for conducting this study, so as to facilitate and
standardise the use of the instrument at a national
level. Thus, this study aims at contributing to the
development of future research and intervention
studies on physical activity and its promotion.
The purpose of the study was to adapt the HPAQ
(sport and physical activity in leisure time subscales)
to the portuguese population, using a sample of
adults from the community. The aims of the study
were: to describe the translation and linguistic
adaptation process of the questionnaire and
analyse its psychometric properties. It also aimed at
assessing the level of physical activity and analysing
the relationship between the socio-demographic
variables and the level of physical activity.
Methodology
Exploratory, descriptive and cross-sectional study. Sample
Convenience sample consisting of 339 adults from the
community: health care professionals and teachers,
residents in the area of Porto and municipalities
of Santa Maria da Feira and Oliveira de Azeméis
(district of Aveiro). Participants were aged between
23 and 60 years (M = 35.92; SD = 8.39) and had
completed their higher education studies. With
respect to marital status, only two categories were
considered: unmarried (including single, widowed
and divorced/separated participants) and married
(including participants who were either married or in
a non-marital relationship). Table 1 shows the sociodemographic characteristics of the sample.
Table 1
Socio-demographic characteristics of the sample
Variables
Gender
Marital status
Profession
Female
Male
Unmarried
Married Health care professionals
Teachers (from pre-school to secondary education)
Data collection tools
Participants answered the portuguese version of the
HPAQ under study, which was designed by Baecke,
Burema, and Frijters (1982), and also a demographic
questionnaire.
The HPAQ is a self-administered questionnaire,
consisting of 16 items, which aims at assessing the
habitual physical activity over the last 12 months in
three different areas: physical activity at work, sport
during leisure time and physical activity during leisure
time excluding sport. Given that the three areas can
be assessed separately, our study only included sport
during leisure time (PA-sports) and physical activity
during leisure time excluding sport (PA-leisure).
Physical activity at work was not included, because
that would have increased the number of items,
lengthening the final questionnaire. Considering
that this work is part of a more extended study on
motivation and health behaviours, we aimed at a short
nº
237
102
109
230
195
144
%
69.9
30.1
32.1
67.9
57.5
42.5
questionnaire, that allowed comparing participants
and, at the same time, identifying behaviours that
could be changed in order to promote physical
activity. On the other hand, the sample of this study
consisted of people whose occupational physical
activities were very similar.
The questionnaire was composed of 8 items, divided
into two dimensions:
1 - PA-sport (4 items) - aimed at assessing the level of
physical activity in sports or the scheduled physical
exercise during leisure time.
2 - PA-leisure (4 items) - aimed at assessing the level
of physical activity during leisure time excluding sport
(for example, walking or cycling).
All answers were scored on a 5-point scale, with the
exception of the question on sports. The higher the
score of each item, the higher the level of physical
activity. Each of the two groups or dimensions of
physical activity have a partial index. The total level
Revista de Enfermagem Referência - IV - n.° 3 - 2014
MARIA CELESTE BASTOS ALMEIDA, et al.
29
of physical activity is calculated by the sum of both
partial values.
In the original study, the PA-sport was subdivided into
three levels of intensity, according to the type of sport
activity: low level, for activities such as billiards, sailing,
bowling and golf (energy expenditure of 0.76 MJ/h);
middle level, for activities such as badminton, cycling,
dancing, swimming and tennis (energy expenditure
of 1.26 MJ/h); and high level, for activities such as
boxing, basketball, football, rugby and rowing (energy
expenditure of 1.76 MJ/h) (Baecke et al., 1982).
In this study, sport intensity followed the Compendium
of Physical Activities by Ainsworth et al. (2000), it
was based on energy expenditure and expressed in
MET (metabolic equivalent). This was in line with the
validation study of the same questionnaire for the
Brazilian population carried out by Florindo and Latorre
(2003). Three levels of intensity were considered: low
intensity (MET <3), moderate intensity (3 to 6 METs)
and vigorous intensity (> 6 METs). The PA-sport index,
as in the original study, was calculated by combining
sport intensity, weekly frequency and proportion of
regular practice over the year. The final version of the questionnaire, following the
linguistic adaptation process, as well as the formulas
for calculating the partial index of both dimensions
and the total index of physical activity are shown in
Figure 1.
1. Pratica desporto ou exercício físico programado?
Sim
Não
Se sim, qual o desporto que pratica mais frequentemente?
Quantas horas por semana? < 1h; 1-2h; 2-3h; 3-4h; >4h
Quantos meses por ano? < 1; 1-3; 4-6; 7-9; > 9
Se pratica um segundo desporto. Qual o desporto que pratica?
Quantas horas por semana? < 1h; 1-2h; 2-3h; 3-4h; >4h
Quantos meses por ano? < 1; 1-3; 4-6; 7-9; > 9
Cálculo do item 1: desporto 1 (intensidade x tempo x proporção) + desporto 2 (intensidade x tempo x proporção)
Intensidade ligeira: < 3 METS (0,76)
Intensidade moderada: ≥ 3 e ≤ 6 METS (1,26)
Intensidade vigorosa: > 6 METS (1,76)
Intensidade: 0,76 – 1,26 – 1,76
Tempo: 0,5 – 1,5 – 2,5 – 3,5 – 4,5
Proporção: 0,04 – 0,17 – 0,42 – 0,67 – 0,92
Intensidade: 0,76 – 1,26 – 1,76
Tempo: 0,5 – 1,5 – 2,5 – 3,5 – 4,5
Proporção: 0,04 – 0,17 – 0,42 – 0,67 – 0,92
1
2
3
4
0
0,01 < 4 ≥ 4 < 8 ≥ 8 < 12
1
2. Em comparação com outras pessoas da sua idade, considera
2
3
4
muito
que a atividade física que realiza nos tempos livres é:
menor
igual
maior
menor
3. Por dia, quantos minutos costuma andar a pé ou de bicicle1
2
3
4
ta (para ir e vir do trabalho, da escola ou fazer compras)?
< 5m 5 a 15m 15 a 30m 30 a 45m
3
4
4. Nos tempos livres, com que frequência costuma transpirar
1
2
algumas frequente(devido às atividades que realiza?)
nunca raramente
vezes
mente
3
4
5. Nos tempos livres, com que frequência costuma praticar
1
2
algumas frequentedesporto ou exercício físico programado?
nunca raramente
vezes
mente
3
4
6. Nos tempos livres, com que frequência costuma ver tele1
2
algumas frequentevisão?
nunca raramente
vezes
mente
3
4
1
2
7. Nos tempos livres, com que frequência costuma andar a pé?
algumas frequentenunca raramente
vezes
mente
3
4
8. Nos tempos livres, com que frequência costuma andar de
1
2
algumas frequentebicicleta?
nunca raramente
vezes
mente
Fórmulas de cálculo:
Índice de Desporto (AF-desporto) = (I1 + I2 + I4 + I5) / 4
Índice de Lazer (AF-lazer) = [I3 + (6 – I6) + I7 + I8] / 4
Atividade Física Habitual Total = AF-desporto + AF-lazer
5
≥12
5
muito maior
5
> 45m
5
muito frequentemente
5
muito frequentemente
5
muito frequentemente
5
muito frequentemente
5
muito frequentemente
Figure 1. Questionário de Atividade Física Habitual modificado (índice AF-desporto e AF-lazer).
Adaptation of the Modified Habitual Physical Activity Questionnaire (Baecke)
to the Portuguese population Revista de Enfermagem Referência - IV - n.° 3 - 2014
30
the confidentiality of their statements was ensured.
The code of conduct of the Declaration of Helsinki was
followed, as well as the ethical aspects underlying the
scientific practice of the University of Porto.
Procedures
After receiving the authors’ authorisation to use the
questionnaire, the english version was translated
into portuguese by two independent translators and
back-translated by a third translator.
Then, two researchers (Ph.Ds. in the area of health
sciences) and one health care professional (nurse
specialist at a Community Care Unit - Unidade de
Cuidados à Comunidade) compared and analysed
the differences between the various versions and
drew up a preliminary version of the questionnaire. The preliminary version was applied in a pilot study to
people from the community so as to assess the clarity
of the instructions/questions and identify possible
difficulties in answering it. A heterogeneous sample
in terms of gender, level of education and profession
was selected to adapt the questionnaire to the general
population, regardless of their socio-economic and
educational level. The sample of the pilot study was
composed of 10 participants of both genders, with
different levels of education and aged between 24 and
56 years.
Some participants assigned a meaning of competition
and/or supervised training to the word sports, while
excluding activities such as walking, jogging or
other scheduled and regular physical exercises
carried out individually or in group, though without
supervision. Hence, it became necessary to better
clarify its meaning. In that sense, we choose to use
the expression scheduled sport or physical exercise
instead, because it is more comprehensive and
appropriate to our linguistic and cultural reality.
In relation to the word leisure, some participants
pointed out that the expression free time was easier
to understand. The questionnaire was then reviewed
again by two researchers, resulting in a final consensus
version.
The request to collect data in a (Nursing) higher
education institution of Porto and two school clusters
(from pre-school education to secondary education) in
the Municipalities of Santa Maria da Feira and Oliveira
de Azeméis (district of Aveiro) was formalised. Health
care professionals working in different institutions in
these cities were also individually contacted. Results
Data were analysed using the Statistical Package for
Social Sciences (SPSS 19.0): analysis of the factor
structure, internal consistency and convergent
validity of the scale items. The levels of total physical
activity, sport activity and leisure time physical activity
excluding sport were also assessed and the groups
were compared. Parametric statistical tests were used,
because they are more robust and their sample size
is closer to normal distribution, which is an essential
requirement for use.
Factor structure analysis
The eight items of the questionnaire were subjected
to the Principal Components Analysis (PCA), using the
Quartimax rotation method and following the same
procedure as the authors of the original questionnaire
to facilitate the comparison of results.
The inter-item correlation matrix showed the
presence of several coefficients with values equal to
or greater than 0.30. The KMO value was 0.83 and
the statistical significance of the Bartlett’s sphericity
test was p = 0.000. Using the Quartimax rotation
method and component loading values greater than
or equal to 0.50, the PCA revealed the presence of two
components with eigenvalues > 1, thus explaining
56.58% of the total variance. The component loading
values found in both the current study and the original
study (with a sample of 306 Dutch participants aged
between 20 and 32 years) were similar in some items.
The results of both studies are shown in Table 2.
When comparing both studies, differences were more
evident in item 8 (During your free time, how often
do you cycle?), which in the current study scored
below the value found in the original study (less 0.28),
and item 3 (How many minutes do you walk and/
or cycle per day...), which in our study scored above
the value found in the original study (more 0.15). The
amount of explained variance was not comparable as
all three subscales were considered in the original
study, while this study only considered two subscales
(PA-sport and PA-leisure).
Ethical-legal considerations
After the institutions’ authorisation and the
participants’ voluntary acceptance for participation,
the latter were explained the purpose of the study, and
Revista de Enfermagem Referência - IV - n.° 3 - 2014
MARIA CELESTE BASTOS ALMEIDA, et al.
31
Table 2 Component structure of the items in the current study and the study by Baecke, Burema and Frijters (1982)
Components
1
2
PA-sport
PA - leisure
1 corresponds to item 9
0.83 (0.86)
2 corresponds to item 10
0.82 (0.78)
4 corresponds to item 11
0.68 (0.59)
5 corresponds to item 12
0.88 (0.87)
3 corresponds to item 16
0.65 (0.50)
6 corresponds to item 13
0.57 (0.52)
7 corresponds to item 14
0.61 (0.72)
8 corresponds to item 15
0.51 (0.79)
Total variance (56.58%)
42.65%
13.93%
Eigenvalues
3.41
1.12
Note: the values of the current study are in bold and the values of the original study are in parentheses
Items in the current study and their correspondence in the original study
free time, how often do you watch TV), the internal
consistency would have improved (alpha = 0.61).
Reliability Analysis
Internal consistency was assessed using the
Cronbach’s alpha. The values obtained were 0.78
for the PA-total, 0.83 for the PA-sport subscale and
0.54 for the PA-leisure subscale. It was not possible
to compare these values to the ones found in the
original study, because the authors did not present
those results. The value for the PA-leisure subscale was low, so we
calculated the inter-item correlation and obtained
very low values for item 6 (between 0.07 and 0.12).
The other inter-item correlations varied between 0.26
and 0.41. If item 6 had been deleted (During your
Analysis of the convergent validity of the
items in the scale
The correlation between each item and its subscale
was always higher than the correlation between each
item and the subscale to which it did not belong. The
results are shown in Table 3. All items had correlation
values with their subscale and the total scale higher
than 0.40, except item 6 (value of correlation with total
scale: 0.25), which had already shown weaknesses in
the internal consistency analysis.
Table 3 Correlation of the items with the subscales and the total scale
Items
PA-sport
Item 1
0.82**
Item 2
0.84**
Item 3
0.31**
Item 4
0.72**
Item 5
0.89**
Item 6
0.05
Item 7
0.41**
Item 8
0.43**
**Significant correlation for p < 0.01
PA-leisure
0.30**
0.34**
0.73**
0.39**
0.51**
0.43**
0.71**
0.70**
PA-total
0.69**
0.72**
0.57**
0.67**
0.84**
0.25**
0.63**
0.64**
physical activity (M = 5.29; SD = 1.23; Min. = 2.75;
Max. = 9.25) were calculated. Taking into account
the maximum values, results suggest that participants
showed moderately low mean values, which were all
below the mid-point of the different subscales.
Descriptive analysis and group comparison
The indices for physical activity in sports (M = 2.62;
SD = 0.81; Min. = 1.00; Max. = 4.75), physical
activity during free time or leisure time (M = 2.68;
SD = 0.62; Min. = 1.50; Max. = 5.00) and total
Adaptation of the Modified Habitual Physical Activity Questionnaire (Baecke)
to the Portuguese population Revista de Enfermagem Referência - IV - n.° 3 - 2014
32
The mean physical activity in sports for the total
sample was moderately low, with t-test results for one
sample indicating that it had statistical significance
(t (338) = -8.65, p = 0.000). The mean physical
activity during leisure excluding sport was also
moderately low, with t-test results for one sample
indicating that it had statistical significance (t (336) =
-9.40, p = 0.000).
We tried to analyse possible differences between
groups according to the various socio-demographic
variables, using the student’s t-test for independent
samples. Table 4 shows the descriptive measures
according to gender, marital status, and profession.
For the gender variable, results showed significant
differences in PA-sport (t (337) = 6.13; p = 0.000)
and PA-total (t (335) = 4.85; p = 0.000), with men
having higher levels of physical activity. No significant
differences were found in PA-leisure. With respect to
marital status, results indicated significant differences
between both groups, i.e. in PA-sport (t (337) =
3.76; p = 0.000) and PA-leisure (t (335) = 2.77; p =
0.006). Unmarried participants had significantly
higher mean values than married participants.
As for profession, no statistically significant differences
were found in the level of physical activity between
health care professionals and teachers.
Table 4 Descriptive measures according to the socio-demographic variables
Gender
Marital Status
Profession
Female
Male
Unmarried
Married
Health
Education
PA- sport
M
SD
2.45
0.74
3.00
0.82
2.85
0.85
2.50
0.76
2.60
0.85
2.63
0.74
Discussion
PA-leisure
M
2.64
2.76
2.72
2.66
2.72
2.62
PA-total
SD
0.61
0.63
0.57
0.64
0.66
0.56
M
5.09
5.77
5.57
5.17
5.33
5.25
SD
1.19
1.20
1.18
1.24
1.32
1.09
lifestyle and not to the practice of physical activity,
including it did not seem theoretically coherent.
However, as none of the studies consulted mentioned
that aspect, the item was still kept in the questionnaire.
The physical activity of the participants included in our
study was moderately low. This result was consistent
with the low levels of physical activity found in other
studies (Guthold et al., 2008; Kruk, 2007), thus
reflecting a global problem which institutions with
responsibilities in the health domain, in the different
countries and worldwide, are looking to solve.
When comparing the means of both physical activity
subscales, i.e. the means of the study carried out
by Baecke, Burema, and Frijters (1982) and that of
the current study, the results found were similar,
although the groups were different in terms of age.
We expected to find lower physical activity levels in
our sample, since the literature suggests a decrease in
physical activity during leisure time with age (Hirsch
et al., 2010) and participants in the study of Baecke et
al. (1982) were aged between 20 and 30 years, while
participants in our study were aged between 23 and
60 years. In the process of translation and linguistic adaptation
of the questionnaire, the guidelines regarding
the translation/back-translation of the items were
followed and the questionnaire was applied in a pilot
study, with review by professionals and researchers
in the area of health sciences to better clarify the
language and adjust to the sociocultural reality.
After data collection, the psychometric properties
of the questionnaire were analysed. Through
the Principal Component Analysis, two distinct
components were found in the habitual physical
activity were found, which is in line with the original
study. The first component related to playing sports
during leisure time included items 1, 2, 4 and 5. The
second component related to physical activity during
leisure time excluding sport included items 3, 6, 7
and 8. The values found for internal consistency and
validity in this study were acceptable, given the
number of items. However, the weakness revealed
by item 6 (to watch TV during free time) should be
highlighted. Since this item referred to a sedentary
Revista de Enfermagem Referência - IV - n.° 3 - 2014
MARIA CELESTE BASTOS ALMEIDA, et al.
33
In the questionnaire’s validation study conducted
in Brazil by Florindo and Latorre (2003), the means
of physical activity were clearly higher in all areas
when compared to the means of our study. However,
samples were not comparable in terms of gender, age
and cultural context, since the sample of this study
included only male subjects aged between 27 and 37
years (M = 32.6). In our study, men had a higher level of physical activity
than women, which is consistent with the results
found in 17 of 20 countries in an international study
on the prevalence of physical activity (Bauman et
al., 2009) and other studies with elderly people
(Hirsch et al., 2010; Palacios-Ceña et al., 2011). In the
study by Baecke et al. (1982), men had significantly
higher levels of physical activity than women only in
sports. The higher level of physical activity shown
by men may be related to their time availability and
gender roles and stereotypes. There is evidence of an
uneven distribution of family responsibilities and a
distribution of household tasks which leaves women
with less free time (Poeschl, 2010).
As for the higher values of physical activity among
unmarried participants than married participants, the
same result was referred to in the studies by PalaciosCeña et al. (2011), and Sobal and Hanson (2010).
According to Sobal and Hanson (2010), the amount
and type of physical activity during leisure time may
be related to the demands of marital roles and the
implicit norms on the type of activity depending
on the marital identity. However, this association
between marital status and physical activity was not
always found (Yu et al., 2011). It should be noted that
the way in which marital relationships are associated
with physical activity or not is still poorly analysed and
an important aspect to consider is the type of activity
assessed (Sobal & Hanson, 2010).
With regard to the level of education, studies suggest
an association between physical activity and a higher
level of education (Baecke et al., 1982; Yu et al., 2011).
This association could not be compared in this sample
since all participants had a higher education degree. We believe that the homogeneity of the sample
regarding the level of education and profession was
a limitation of our study. In future studies, it would
be appropriate to use more heterogeneous samples.
In further studies, the participants’ high level of
education could compromise the application of the
questionnaire to people with different socioeconomic
and educational levels. However, the pilot study using
its initial version in 10 participants with different
levels of education allowed for the discussion and
assessment of expressions, thus facilitating the use of
the instrument in the general population.
Conclusion
The assessment of the level of physical activity only
comprised the activity during leisure time, including
sport activities or others. Occupational activities
were not assessed. This choice was made because we
believe that the potential for change of behaviours is
essentially related to activities performed during free
time and not so much to work activities.
We believe that the objectives proposed for this
study were achieved, particularly the description
of the translation and linguistic adaptation process
of the questionnaire, analysis of the psychometric
properties of the questionnaire, and assessment of the
participants’ level of physical activity, by comparing
groups according to their socio-demographic
variables.
After the translation/adaptation process of the
HPAQ, the version used proved to be a short, easyto-understand and well-accepted instrument by the
participants. The questionnaire had an acceptable
factor structure, internal consistency and convergent
validity.
In relation to differences between groups, significant
differences were found in the gender and marital
status variables, with men and unmarried participants
showing higher levels of physical activity.
Following this first adaptation process, the
application of the questionnaire to a wider and
heterogeneous sample may be more enlightening in
the sense of improving its use and contributing to the
identification of intervention strategies that promote
physical activity behaviour change.
This study is part of the Doctoral Programme
in Psychology of the Faculty of Psychology and
Educational Sciences of the University of Porto and is
funded by the Foundation for Science and Technology
within the framework of the programme PROTEC
(SFRH /PROTEC/50108/2009).
Adaptation of the Modified Habitual Physical Activity Questionnaire (Baecke)
to the Portuguese population Revista de Enfermagem Referência - IV - n.° 3 - 2014
34
expenditure according to the doubly labeled water method.
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical
Activity, 5(30), 1-6. doi:10.1186/1479-5868-5-30
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