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Should we re-frame how we think about physical activity and sedentary behavior measurement?

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Recorded on: 2nd May 2018




The measurement of physical activity (PA) and sedentary behaviour (SB) is fundamental to health-related research, policy, and practice but there are well-known challenges to these measurements. Within the academic literature, the terms “validity” and “reliability” are frequently used when discussing PA and SB measurement to reassure the reader that they can trust the evidence.


In this webinar, Dr Paul Kelly will argue that a lack of consensus about the best way to define, assess, or utilise the concepts of validity and reliability has led to inconsistencies and confusion within the PA and SB evidence base.



Learning outcomes

  • Appreciate the difference and similarities of validity and reliability
  • Explain why miss-use of these terms has been detrimental to the evidence base
  • Consider better use of these terms, for better evidence generation


Presenter overview


Dr Paul Kelly has been a lecturer in Physical Activity for Health at the University of Edinburgh since September 2014. He is based at the Physical Activity for Health Research Centre (PAHRC) led by Professor Nanette Mutrie MBE. He teaches Physical Activity and Health, Applied Sports Science, Physical Education, Exercise Medicine and Medical degrees. His primary research focus is the measurement of physical activity and he has a keen interested in the measurement properties of different methods and how this influences our understanding of behaviour and its outcomes. Dr Paul previously worked at the University of Oxford, where he completed a PhD (2010-2013) in using wearable cameras to measure active travel.