Validation of theStanford 7-Day Recall to assess habitual physical activity

Mark T. Richardson, Barbara E. Ainsworth, David R. Jacobs, Arthur S. Leon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

156 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: The ability of the Stanford 7-Day Recall (7-DR), a well known instrument for surveying work and leisure-time physical activity (PA) in epidemiologic studies, to assess levels of habitual PA in men and women was evaluated. METHODS: The 7-DR was administered twice, one month apart. Its accuracy was studied in 77 men and women, aged 20-59 years, by its repeatability and comparison of both administrations of the 7-DR with: fourteen 48-hour physical activity records; fourteen 48-hour Caltrac accelerometer readings; peak oxygen uptake (VO2 peak) determinations; and percent body fat. These criteria measures were obtained over a year's duration. RESULTS: One month repeatability correlation coefficients for 7-DR total activity were r = 0.60 (p ≤ 0.01) and r = 0.36 (p ≤ 0.05) for men and women, respectively. Comparison of corresponding indices of activity between the 7-DR and the PA record indicated: 1) a closer relationship in men for total (r = 0.58 for visit 10 7-DR and 0.66 for visit 11 7-DR, p ≤ 0.01), and very hard (r = 0.44 and 0.60, p ≤ 0.05) activity then in women (r = 0.32 and 0.33, p ≤ 0.05, and r = 0.21, ns and 0.43, p ≤ 0.01, respectively); and 2) in general, lower and less consistent associations for hard, moderate, and light activity. Total PA by the 7-DR was significantly associated with Caltrac readings (r = 0.54 and 0.45) in men only. 7-DR results were more consistently related to VO2 peak in men than women, but were significantly related to percent body fat in women only. CONCLUSIONS: The ability of the 7-DR to assess habitual PA was greater for more vigorous than for lower intensity PA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-153
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of epidemiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was supported in part by a National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) grant, 1R01-HL 37354 awarded to Dr. Arthur Leon and Dr. David Jacobs, Jr. Dr. Leon is supported in part by the Henry L. Taylor endowed Professorship in Exercise Science and Health Enhancement. We would like to thank M. Carl McNally and Terry Hartman for their help in the data collection phase of this study.


  • Accelerometer
  • Exercise
  • Exertion
  • Physical activity assessment
  • Questionnaire
  • Validity


Dive into the research topics of 'Validation of theStanford 7-Day Recall to assess habitual physical activity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this