Table of Contents

Locator Record

Title: Physical Activity (PAQ )
Contact Number: 1-866-441-NCHS
Years of Content: 1999 - 2000
First Published: June, 2002
Revised: September, 2004
Access Constraints: None
Use Constraints: None
Geographic Coverage: National
Subject:Physical Activity
Record Source: NHANES 1999 - 2000
Survey Methodology: NHANES 1999 - 2000 is a stratified multistage probability sample of the civilian non-institutionalized population of the U.S.
Medium: NHANES Web site; SAS transport files

Component Description

The physical activity questionnaire (PAQ) section includes an extensive array of questions related to daily activities, leisure-time activities, and sedentary activities at home. Some of the PAQ questions administered during NHANES 1999–2000 were used in previous NHANES questionnaires or were asked in other federal surveys.

Eligible Sample

All survey participants 2 or more years of age were eligible. Proxy respondents answered the questions for 2–11 year olds. The questions asked varied by age group. The target group in the codebook indicates which age groups were asked which questions.

Interview Setting and Mode of Administration

Interview Settings

For respondents 2–11 and 16 or more years of age, the questions were asked in the household interview. For respondents 12–15 years of age, the questions were asked as part of the Mobile Examination Center (MEC) interview.

Mode of Administration

In-person

Data Processing and Editing

The data was split into two files. The first is described here and includes general information about daily activities, leisure-time activities, and sedentary activities. The second (PAQIAF) includes more detailed information about specific leisure-time activities for respondents 12 or more years of age. The two files can be linked by using the sequence number (SEQN) provided.

Respondents who answered yes to vigorous activities (PAD200), but did not give at least one vigorous activity or reported a duration of less than 10 minutes, were recoded to no. The same was done for moderate activities (PAD320).

The number of times in the past 30 days that the respondent did moderately active tasks around the house or yard (PAD120) and muscle strengthening activities (PAD460) were originally reported as number of times per day, per week, or per month and were converted to number of times over the past 30 days. The average duration of the tasks around the house or yard (PAD160) was originally reported in hours or minutes and was converted to minutes. There were a few instances in which the duration per day of tasks around the home or yard was 12 hours or more for the 30-day period. In these  instances, PAD120 and PAD160 were set to missing. Users should carefully inspect the data for other values they may consider too high.

Analytic Notes

Since the PAQ questions for respondents 2–11 and 16 or more years of age were asked in the home interview, the interview sample weights may be used in their analysis. However, if the data is joined with data from the MEC, the MEC sample weights should be used. Analysis of the PAQ questions for 12–15 year olds should use the MEC sample weights, as the questions were asked in the MEC.

Suggested metabolic equivalent (MET) scores for the activities listed in this file are included in Appendix 1. They were obtained from the reference below and personal communication with the author.

References

Codebook and Frequencies

SEQN - Respondent sequence number

Variable Name:
SEQN
SAS Label:
Respondent sequence number
English Text:
Respondent sequence number.
Target:
Both males and females 2 YEARS - 150 YEARS

PAD020 - Walked or bicycled over past 30 days

Variable Name:
PAD020
SAS Label:
Walked or bicycled over past 30 days
English Text:
The next series of questions are about physical activities that {you/SP} {have/has} done over the past 30 days. First I will ask about activities that are related to transportation. Then I'll ask about physical activities that {you/he/she} do at school or in {your/his/her} leisure time. Over the past 30 days, {have/has} {you/SP} walked or bicycled as part of getting to and from work, or school, or to do errands?
English Instructions:
CODE 'UNABLE TO DO' ONLY IF RESPONDENT VOLUNTEERS.
Target:
Both males and females 12 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
1 Yes 2188 2188
2 No 4792 6980 PAQ100
3 Unable to do activity 211 7191 PAQ100
7 Refused 5 7196 PAQ100
9 Don't know 2 7198 PAQ100
. Missing 1990 9188

PAQ050Q - # times walked or bicycled

Variable Name:
PAQ050Q
SAS Label:
# times walked or bicycled
English Text:
[Over the past 30 days], how often did {you/SP} do this? [Walk or bicycle as part of getting to and from work, or school, or to do errands.] PROBE: How many times per day, per week, or per month did {you/s/he} do these activities?
English Instructions:
ENTER NUMBER OF TIMES (PER DAY, WEEK OR MONTH).
Target:
Both males and females 12 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
1 to 75 Range of Values 2187 2187
77777 Refused 0 2187
99999 Don't know 1 2188
. Missing 7000 9188

PAQ050U - Unit of measure (day/week/month)

Variable Name:
PAQ050U
SAS Label:
Unit of measure (day/week/month)
English Text:
UNIT OF MEASURE.
English Instructions:
ENTER UNIT.
Target:
Both males and females 12 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
1 Day 614 614
2 Week 1036 1650
3 Month 537 2187
7 Refused 0 2187
9 Don't Know 0 2187
. Missing 7001 9188

PAD080 - How long per day (minutes)

Variable Name:
PAD080
SAS Label:
How long per day (minutes)
English Text:
On those days when {you/SP} walked or bicycled, about how long did {you/s/he} spend altogether doing this (minutes)?
English Instructions:
ENTER NUMBER (OF MINUTES).
Target:
Both males and females 12 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
1 to 480 Range of Values 2183 2183
77777 Refused 0 2183
99999 Don't know 0 2183
. Missing 7005 9188

PAQ100 - Tasks around home/yard past 30 days

Variable Name:
PAQ100
SAS Label:
Tasks around home/yard past 30 days
English Text:
Over the past 30 days, did {you/SP} do any tasks in or around {your/his/her} home or yard for at least 10 minutes that required moderate or greater physical effort? By moderate physical effort I mean, tasks that caused light sweating or a slight to moder ate increase in {your/his/her} heart rate or breathing. [Such as raking leaves, mowing the lawn or heavy cleaning.]
English Instructions:
CODE 'UNABLE TO DO' ONLY IF RESPONDENT VOLUNTEERS
Target:
Both males and females 16 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
1 Yes 2950 2950
2 No 2874 5824 PAQ180
3 Unable to do activity 212 6036 PAQ180
7 Refused 5 6041 PAQ180
9 Don't know 1 6042 PAQ180
. Missing 3146 9188

PAD120 - # of times past 30 days

Variable Name:
PAD120
SAS Label:
# of times past 30 days
English Text:
[Over the past 30 days], how often did {you/SP} do these tasks in or around {your/his/her} home or yard, that is tasks requiring at least moderate effort? [Such as raking leaves, mowing the lawn or heavy cleaning.] PROBE: How many times per day, per week, or per month did {you/s/he} do these activities?
English Instructions:
ENTER NUMBER (OF TIMES past 30 days).
Target:
Both males and females 16 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
1 to 300 Range of Values 2943 2943
77777 Refused 0 2943
99999 Don't know 0 2943
. Missing 6245 9188

PAD160 - How long each time (minutes)

Variable Name:
PAD160
SAS Label:
How long each time (minutes)
English Text:
About how long did {you/SP} do these tasks each time (minutes)?
English Instructions:
IF MORE THAN 1 TASK, ASK FOR TASK DONE MOST OFTEN. ENTER NUMBER (OF MINUTES).
Target:
Both males and females 16 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
1 to 600 Range of Values 2934 2934
77777 Refused 0 2934
99999 Don't know 0 2934
. Missing 6254 9188

PAQ180 - Avg level of physical activity each day

Variable Name:
PAQ180
SAS Label:
Avg level of physical activity each day
English Text:
Please tell me which of these four sentences best describes {your/SP's} usual daily activities? [Daily activities may include {your/his/her} work, housework if {you are/s/he is} a homemaker, going to and attending classes if {you are/s/he is} a student, and what {you/s/he} normally {do/does} throughout a typical day if {you are/he/she is} a retiree or unemployed.] . . .
English Instructions:
HAND CARD PAQ1
Target:
Both males and females 16 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
1 {you sit/he/she sits} during the day and {do/does} not walk about very much. 1574 1574
2 {you stand or walk/he/she stands or walks} about a lot during the day, but {do/does}not have to carry or lift things very often 3119 4693
3 {you/he/she} lift(s) light load or {have/has} to climb stairs or hills often. 969 5662
4 {you/he/she} {do/does} heavy work or {carry/carries} heavy loads. 367 6029
7 Refused 6 6035
9 Don't know 7 6042
. Missing 3146 9188

PAD200 - Vigorous activity over past 30 days

Variable Name:
PAD200
SAS Label:
Vigorous activity over past 30 days
English Text:
The next questions are about physical activities including exercise, sports, and physically active hobbies that {you/SP} may have done in {your/his/her} leisure time or at school over the past 30 days. First I will ask you about vigorous activities that cause heavy sweating or large increases in breathing or heart rate. Then I will ask you about moderate activities that cause only light sweating or a slight to moderate increase in breathing or heart rate. Over the past 30 days, did {you/SP} do any vigorous activities for at least 10 minutes that caused heavy sweating, or large increases in breathing or heart rate? Some examples are running, lap swimming, aerobics classes or fast bicycling.
English Instructions:
CODE 'UNABLE TO DO' ONLY IF RESPONDENT VOLUNTEERS.
Target:
Both males and females 12 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
1 Yes 2654 2654
2 No 4244 6898
3 Unable to do activity 293 7191
7 Refused 5 7196
9 Don't know 2 7198
. Missing 1990 9188

PAD320 - Moderate activity over past 30 days

Variable Name:
PAD320
SAS Label:
Moderate activity over past 30 days
English Text:
[Over the past 30 days], did {you/SP} do moderate activities for at least 10 minutes that cause only light sweating or a slight to moderate increase in breathing or heart rate? Some examples are brisk walking, bicycling for pleasure, golf, and dancing .
English Instructions:
CODE 'UNABLE TO DO' ONLY IF RESPONDENT VOLUNTEERS.
Target:
Both males and females 12 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
1 Yes 2908 2908
2 No 4031 6939
3 Unable to do activity 250 7189
7 Refused 6 7195
9 Don't know 3 7198
. Missing 1990 9188

PAD440 - Muscle strengthening activities

Variable Name:
PAD440
SAS Label:
Muscle strengthening activities
English Text:
Over the past 30 days, did {you/SP} do any physical activities specifically designed to strengthen {your/his/her} muscles such as lifting weights, push-ups or sit-ups? Include all such activities even if you have mentioned them before.
English Instructions:
CODE 'UNABLE TO DO' ONLY IF RESPONDENT VOLUNTEERS.
Target:
Both males and females 12 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
1 Yes 2252 2252
2 No 4700 6952 PAQ480
3 Unable to do activity 239 7191 PAQ480
7 Refused 6 7197 PAQ480
9 Don't know 1 7198 PAQ480
. Missing 1990 9188

PAD460 - Number of times past 30 days

Variable Name:
PAD460
SAS Label:
Number of times past 30 days
English Text:
[Over the past 30 days], how often did {you/SP} do these physical activities? [Activities designed to strengthen {your/his/her} muscles such as lifting weights, push-ups or sit-ups.]
English Instructions:
ENTER NUMBER OF TIMES (30 days).
Target:
Both males and females 12 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
1 to 300 Range of Values 2252 2252
77777 Refused 0 2252
99999 Don't know 0 2252
. Missing 6936 9188

PAQ480 - Daily hours of TV, video or computer use

Variable Name:
PAQ480
SAS Label:
Daily hours of TV, video or computer use
English Text:
Now I will ask about TV watching or computer use. Over the past 30 days, on a typical day how much time altogether did {you/SP} spend on a typical day sitting and watching TV or videos or using a computer outside of work? Would you say . . .
Target:
Both males and females 16 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
0 Less than 1 hour, 657 657
1 1 hour, 1000 1657
2 2 hours, 1583 3240
3 3 hours, 1107 4347
4 4 hours, 716 5063
5 5 hours or more, or 875 5938
6 None 94 6032
77 Refused 7 6039
99 Don't know 3 6042
. Missing 3146 9188

PAQ500 - Activity comparison last mo - last yr

Variable Name:
PAQ500
SAS Label:
Activity comparison last mo - last yr
English Text:
How does the amount of activity that you reported {for SP} for the past 30 days compare with {your/his/her} physical activity for the past 12 months? Over the past 30 days, {were you/was he/she} . . .
Target:
Both males and females 12 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
1 more active 1316 1316
2 less active, or 1406 2722
3 About the same? 4467 7189
7 Refused 6 7195
9 Don't know 3 7198
. Missing 1990 9188

PAQ520 - Compare activity w/others same age

Variable Name:
PAQ520
SAS Label:
Compare activity w/others same age
English Text:
(MEC Interview Version) Compared with most {boys/girls} {your/SP's} age, would you say that {you are/SP is}... (SP Interview Version) Compared with most {men/boys/women/girls} {your/SP's} age, would you say that {you are/s/he is} . . .
Target:
Both males and females 12 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
1 more active 2446 2446
2 less active, or 1266 3712
3 About the same? 3411 7123
7 Refused 6 7129
9 Don't Know 69 7198
. Missing 1990 9188

PAQ540 - Compare activity with 10 years ago

Variable Name:
PAQ540
SAS Label:
Compare activity with 10 years ago
English Text:
Compared with {yourself/himself/herself} 10 years ago, would you say that {you are/SP is} . . .
Target:
Both males and females 30 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
1 More active now, 521 521
2 Less active now, or 2397 2918
3 About the same? 1082 4000
7 Refused 5 4005
9 Don't know 3 4008
. Missing 5180 9188

PAQ560 - # time/week you play or exercise hard

Variable Name:
PAQ560
SAS Label:
# time/week you play or exercise hard
English Text:
Now I'd like to ask you some questions about {SP's} activities. How many times per week {does SP} play or exercise enough to make {him/her} sweat and breathe hard?
English Instructions:
IF NEVER, ENTER 0. IF LESS THAN ONCE PER WEEK, ENTER 1. ENTER NUMBER OF TIMES.
Target:
Both males and females 2 YEARS - 11 YEARS
Hard Edits:
0 to 99
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
0 to 77 Range of Values 1925 1925
77777 Refused 0 1925
99999 Don't know 9 1934
. Missing 7254 9188

PAD570 - # of hours watch TV or videos yesterday

Variable Name:
PAD570
SAS Label:
# of hours watch TV or videos yesterday
English Text:
Now I will ask about TV watching and computer use. About how many hours did {you/SP} sit and watch TV or videos yesterday? Would you say...
Target:
Both males and females 2 YEARS - 15 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
0 Less than 1 hour 469 469
1 1 hour 561 1030
2 2 hours 780 1810
3 3 hours 476 2286
4 4 hours, or 245 2531
5 5 hours or more 347 2878
6 None 196 3074
77 Refused 0 3074
99 Don't know 16 3090
. Missing 6098 9188

PAQ580 - # hours use computer/games yesterday

Variable Name:
PAQ580
SAS Label:
# hours use computer/games yesterday
English Text:
About how many hours did {you/SP} use a computer or play computer games yesterday? Would you say...
Target:
Both males and females 2 YEARS - 15 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
0 Less than 1 hour 1065 1065
1 1 hour 388 1453
2 2 hours 186 1639
3 3 hours 60 1699
4 4 hours 24 1723
5 5 or more? 43 1766
6 None 1310 3076
77 Refused 0 3076
99 Don't know 14 3090
. Missing 6098 9188

PAAQUEX - Questionnaire source flag for weighting

Variable Name:
PAAQUEX
SAS Label:
Questionnaire source flag for weighting
English Text:
Target:
Both males and females 2 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
1 Sample Person Interview Questionnaire Targets (B(2-11) and (B(16-150) 7979 7979
2 MEC CAPI Questionnaire Targets (B(12-15)) 1209 9188
. Missing 0 9188

Appendix1: Suggested Met Score

PAD020: Walked or bicycled over past 30 days to get to/from work, etc.................4.0
PAQ100: Tasks in or around home or yard past 30 days.......................................4.5
PAQ180: Average level of physical activity each day 
(1.  Mainly sit)...................................................................................................1.4 
(2.  Walk a lot)..................................................................................................1.5
(3.  Carry light loads).........................................................................................1.6 
(4.  Carry heavy loads)......................................................................................1.8
PAD440: Muscle strengthening activities...............................................................4.0
PAD480: Daily hours of TV, video or computer use................................................1.2
PAQ560: Number of times per week play or exercise hard......................................7.0
PAD570: Number of hours watch TV or videos yesterday........................................1.0
PAQ580: Number of hours used computer yesterday..............................................1.5