Systematic Review of Childhood Sedentary Behavior Questionnaires: What do We Know and What is Next?

Lisan Hidding*, Teatske M. Altenburg, Lidwine B. Mokkink, Caroline B. Terwee, Mai J. M. Chinapaw

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Accurate measurement of child sedentary behavior is necessary for monitoring trends, examining health effects, and evaluating the effectiveness of interventions.

We therefore aimed to summarize studies examining the measurement properties of self-report or proxy-report sedentary behavior questionnaires for children and adolescents under the age of 18 years. Additionally, we provided an overview of the characteristics of the evaluated questionnaires.

We performed systematic literature searches in the EMBASE, PubMed, and SPORTDiscus electronic databases. Studies had to report on at least one measurement property of a questionnaire assessing sedentary behavior. Questionnaire data were extracted using a standardized checklist, i.e. the Quality Assessment of Physical Activity Questionnaire (QAPAQ) checklist, and the methodological quality of the included studies was rated using a standardized tool, i.e. the COnsensus-based Standards for the selection of health Measurement INstruments (COSMIN) checklist.

Forty-six studies on 46 questionnaires met our inclusion criteria, of which 33 examined test–retest reliability, nine examined measurement error, two examined internal consistency, 22 examined construct validity, eight examined content validity, and two examined structural validity. The majority of the included studies were of fair or poor methodological quality. Of the studies with at least a fair methodological quality, six scored positive on test–retest reliability, and two scored positive on construct validity.

None of the questionnaires included in this review were considered as both valid and reliable. High-quality studies on the most promising questionnaires are required, with more attention to the content validity of the questionnaires.

PROSPERO registration number: CRD42016035963.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)677–699
JournalSports Medicine
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

The contributions of Teatske Altenburg and Mai Chinapaw were funded by the Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development (ZonMw Project Number 91211057). No other sources of funding were used to assist in the preparation of this article.


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