Physical Activity Questionnaire for Children (PAQ-C) Popular

The Physical Activity Questionnaire for Children is a self-administered, 7-day recall instrument.  It was developed to assess general levels of physical activity throughout the elementary school year for students in grades 4 to 8 and approximately 8 to 14 years of age.  

The PAQ-C can be administered in a classroom setting and provides a summary of physical activity score derived from nine items, 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, PhD
College of Kinesiology
University of Saskatchewan

Peter R.E. Crocker, PhD
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 10)

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 8 (PE, recess, lunch, right after school, evening, weekends, and 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 9
- 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 9.

4) Item 10
- 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 9 items (items 1 to 9) used in the Physical Activity composite score, you simply take the mean of these 9 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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