What are the NHANES physical activity and cardiovascular fitness data?
The National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) physical activity and cardiovascular fitness data consist of study participant information obtained through the physical activity questionnaire (PAQ), the cardiovascular fitness examination (CVX), and the physical activity monitor examination (PAX).more
These data provide a snapshot of physical activity and cardiovascular fitness for the U.S. population. NHANES is the only national survey that collects physical activity-related information from face-to-face interviews, medical examinations, and objective monitoring.
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Why was this tutorial created?
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) developed this web-based tutorial to meet the growing demands of NHANES data users and to promote broader and more proficient use of the physical activity and cardiovascular fitness data.more
Novice or experienced, all users face similar challenges due to the complexity of the survey design and vast amount of information available in NHANES data. All users need to learn how to:
- locate pertinent information on the NCHS website, which is constantly updated and evolving;
- quickly retrieve NHANES data files and variables, given the complex structure and vast amount of available data;
- correctly prepare an analytic dataset and create or identify appropriate physical activity and cardiovascular fitness variables; and
- conduct intended statistical analyses with appropriate attention paid to the nuances of NHANES data, given its complex sample design, weighting requirements, and data structure.
What does the tutorial provide?
This tutorial simulates a real life experience of how to conduct an analytical project from beginning to end, with a step-by-step logical flow through typical analytic procedures. Relevant information on physical activity and cardiovascular fitness data, nuances, tips, explanations for SAS or SUDAAN programs, downloadable sample program code, and analytical guidance are organized and integrated into different modules and tasks to facilitate this learning process.more
The tutorial is intended to be:
- a step-by-step course on physical activity and cardiovascular fitness data retrieval and analysis for new users;
- a self-learning tool for novice and infrequent users to supplement their knowledge of the NHANES database and the analysis techniques required to properly analyze the physical activity and cardiovascular fitness data; and
- a reference for experienced researchers highlighting NHANES analytic nuances and sample program code.
To best serve the needs of a wide range of users, this tutorial has included a large amount of information. The information is organized in such a way that those who would like to review all information may do so, while others can efficiently bypass sections that are not of interest to them. Overall, this tutorial provides a complete on-line learning tool.Click to hide.
What's the best way to use the tutorial?
Your own background and learning style will dictate how you can best use this tutorial.more
- If you are a beginner, you may want to work through the tutorial in a linear fashion, starting with the modules that orient you to the survey, then progressing to modules on how to prepare analytic datasets and how to conduct various types of analyses.
- If you are an experienced NHANES user who is searching for specific information or types of assistance, you can use the navigation bar to pick and choose topics among the modules or even among tasks within modules. You may also wish to access the sample SAS or SUDAAN programs directly.
Who is the audience?
We expect that users of this tutorial will have different levels of experience with NHANES and with physical activity and cardiovascular fitness data and varied degrees of skill in statistics and software packages.more
- public health and other government staff involved in NHANES physical activity and cardiovascular fitness data analyses;
- researchers who use NHANES physical activity and cardiovascular for scientific studies or education purposes;
- public health and medical professionals who use NHANES physical activity and cardiovascular fitness data for planning, policy making or public health programs; and
- other users of NHANES physical activity and cardiovascular fitness data or groups interested in NHANES.