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New guide to physical activity measures in longitudinal studies launched by CLOSER

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A new, easily searchable, online guide on physical activity measures used in six CLOSER partner studies has been launched today.

The comprehensive guide enables users to learn about 281 measures of physical activity across the following six leading British longitudinal studies:

  • 1946 MRC National Survey of Health and Development (NSHD)
  • 1958 National Child Development Study (NCDS)
  • 1970 British Cohort Study (BCS70)
  • Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC)
  • Millennium Cohort Study (MCS)
  • Understanding Society: The UK Household Longitudinal Study (UKHLS)

The guide is divided into four sections:

  • The first section defines physical activity, including an introduction to the key domains of physical activity, highlighting its application in research and relationship to various health outcomes using CLOSER longitudinal data in examining physical activity, and provides an overview of data collection methods;
  • The second section outlines how each of the CLOSER partner studies in the project has measured physical activity;
  • The third section describes and discusses the potential for cross-study comparability in the different domains of physical activity and also touches on longitudinal within-study comparability;
  • The fourth section consists of a searchable online index that captures all of the variables covered by the guide, allowing users to search and filter them easily.

This guide focuses on self-reported measures of physical activity in each study, as well as providing some detail on objective measures where available.

This guide is intended to be a helpful resource which future researchers can both utilise and build upon.

The guide was produced as part of a CLOSER project looking into physical activity to see whether it varied by age and sex across six CLOSER partner studies. The project is led by Dr David Bann and Dr Meg Fluharty (both at the Centre for Longitudinal Studies, UCL) with support from Dr Aase VilladsenAaron KandolaDr Lucy GriffithsDr Dara O’NeillDr Snehal Pinto PereiraProf Nicholas Timpson, and Prof Rachel Cooper.

Explore the online physical activity measures guide