Physical Activity Questionnaire for Adolescents (PAQ-A) Popular

The Physical Activity Questionnaire for Adolescents is a nine-item, seven day self-report recall questionnaire designed and extensively used for surveillance and monitoring.  The PAQ-A is self-administered.  It was developed to assess general levels of physical activity for high schools students in grades 9 to 12 and approximately 14 to 19 years of age. 

The PAQ-A can be administered in a classroom setting and provides a summary physical activity score derived from eight items (the 9th item does not factor into the overall score), each scored on a 5-point scale.  Estimated completion time is 20 minutes.



Administration Method
Number of Questions
Creator(s) of Tool
Kowalski, K., Crocker, P., & Donen, R. The Physical Activity Questionnaire for Older Children (PAQ-C) and Adolescents (PAQ-A) Manual. College of Kinesiology, University of Saskatchewan.

Kent C. Kowalski, Ph.D.
College of Kinesiology
University of Saskatchewan

Peter R. E. Crocker, Ph.D.
School of Human Kinetics
University of British Columbia

Rachel M. Donen, Bsc. Honours
College of Kinesiology
University of Saskatchewan
Scoring / Benchmarking
Overall process - Find an activity score between 1 and 5 for each item (excluding item 9)

1) Item 1 Spare Time Activity
- Take the mean of all activities ("no" activity being a 1, "7 times or more" being a 5) on the activity checklist to form a composite score for item 1.

2) Item 2 to 7 (PE, lunch, right after school, evening, weekends, describes you best)
- The answers for each item start from the lowest activity response and progress to the highest activity response.
- Use the reported value that is checked off for each item (the lowest activity response being a 1 and the highest activity response being a 5).

3) Item 8
- Take the mean of all days of the week ("none" being a 1, "very often" being a 5) to form a composite score for item 8.

4) Item 9
- Can be used to identify students who had unusual activity during the previous week, but this question is NOT used as part of the summary activity score.

5) How to calculate the final PAQ-A activity score
- Once you have a value from 1 to 5 for each of the 8 items (items 1 to 8) used in the Physical Activity composite score, you simply take the mean of these 8 items, which results in the final PAQ-A activity summary score.

- A score of 1 indicates low physical activity, wheareas a score of 5 indicates high physical activity.
Background / Quality
Consistently high validity; reliability is considered to be moderate.

(Richardson D, Cavill N, Ells L, Roberts K (2011) Measuring Diet and Physical Activity in Weight Management Interventions: A Briefing Paper. Oxford: National Obesity Observatory.)
Is there a cost associated with this tool?
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