Description and comparison of physical activity from self-reports and accelerometry among primary school children in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania: a pilot study [version 2; peer review: 1 approved, 1 approved with reservations]

Mary Vincent Mosha 1, Elizabeth Kasagama 1, Philip Ayieko, Sia E. Msuya 1, Heiner Grosskurth 2,3, Suzanne Filteau 3
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Self-reports are commonly used to assess physicalactivity in children. Existing self-reports for physical activity have not been validated for use among primary school children in, Tanzania. In order to understand if primary school children can accurately report their physical activity, we examined the validity of self-reported physical activity against accelerometer measured physical activity.


A community based cross-sectional study was conducted from May to July, 2018. Four primary schools were conveniently selected in Moshi municipal and Moshi rural districts in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania and from these 51 children aged 9 – 11 years were randomly selected. Self-reported questionnaire was used to collect physical activity related variables. In addition, children wore accelerometers for seven consecutive days to capture physical activity movements. Spearman’s rank test and Bland Altman plots were used for assessing validity and agreement between self-reports and accelerometer moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA).


The mean age of the study participants was 10 (SD=0.8) years and 32 (63%) were girls. A positive significant correlation was found between self-reports and accelerometer MVPA (rho=0.36, p=0.009).