Implications of Measurement: Comparing Estimates of Physical Activity across NHANES, NHIS, and ATUS

Rachelle Hill, U.S. Census Bureau
Kari WIlliams, University of Minnesota

Prior research has demonstrated the importance of physical activities for health and understanding how estimates differ by measurement strategy, including self-reported measures of frequency and intensity, time diary data, and accelerometer data, is thus an important contribution to the limited research base about physical activity measurement. Using nationally representative data from the 2003-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), the 2003-2013 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), and the 2003-2013 American Time Use Survey (ATUS), we propose to investigate the following questions. First, how do recall estimates of time spent in physical activity in the ATUS and NHIS compare to NHANES estimates based on accelerometer data? Second, how do ATUS estimates of time spent in activities above different metabolic equivalent (MET) value thresholds compare to NHANES estimates based on accelerometer data? And finally, to what extent do the measurement differences in these estimates vary by BMI and self-reported health?

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Presented in Poster Session 2: Data and Methods/Applied Demography/ Spatial Demography/ Demography of Crime