Validity and reliability of the Fels physical activity questionnaire for children

Margarita S. Treuth, Ningqi Hou, Deborah R. Young, L. Michele Maynard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Purpose: The aim was to evaluate the reliability and validity of the Fels physical activity questionnaire (PAQ) for children 7-19 yr of age. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 130 girls and 99 boys in elementary (N = 70), middle (N = 81), and high (N = 78) schools in rural Maryland. Weight and height were measured on the initial school visit. All the children then wore an Actiwatch accelerometer for 6 d. The Fels PAQ for children was given on two separate occasions to evaluate reliability and was compared with accelerometry data to evaluate validity. Results: The reliability of the Fels PAQ for the girls, boys, and the elementary, middle, and high school age groups range was r = 0.48-0.76. For the elementary school children, the correlation coefficient examining validity between the Fels PAQ total score and Actiwatch (counts per minute) was 0.34 (P = 0.004). The correlation coefficients were lower in middle school (r = 0.11, P = 0.31 ) and high school (r = 0.21, P = 0.006) adolescents. The sport index of the Fels PAQ for children had the highest validity in the high school participants (r = 0.34, P = 0.002). Conclusion: The Fels PAQ for children is moderately reliable for all age groups of children. Validity of the Fels PAQ for children is acceptable for elementary and high school students when the total activity score or the sport index is used. The sport index was similar to the total score for elementary students but was a better measure of physical activity among high school students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)488-495
Number of pages8
JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Accelerometer
  • Adolescents
  • Inactivity
  • Physical activity assessment
  • Self-report questionnaires

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


Dive into the research topics of 'Validity and reliability of the Fels physical activity questionnaire for children'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this