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Physical Activity Profile Assessment Essay

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Updated: Mar 18th, 2022


The physical activity comprises any doings that bring about or cause the body to work harder than it does under normal conditions. Physical activity is a description of the activities beyond the daily routine of an ordinary person of standing, sitting, and other slightly straining engagements like walking upstairs. Physical activities are divided into two forms for adults where one is muscle-strengthening activity; while the other is Aerobics. Under normal circumstances, aerobic activities are much moderate, less engaging and vigorous. Physical activity assessment on the other hand is the exact, precise, and reproducible monitoring of the physical activities that an individual or group engages in. The assessment accounts provide a detailed overview of the different methods applied in assessing the physical doings and energy usage of the group or individual. In this case, the choice of evaluation tool is based on the outcome desired from the practice. However, the different evaluation tools vary in accuracy, reactivity, age applicability, gender favorability and acceptability at both the individual or group levels (McElroy, 2001).

The target group from which the physical activity assessment report is to be drawn is described below. The group comprises sixty members of a male prison who are of average overweight, between the ages of twenty and sixty-five years and living within the prison premises. Being overweight in general can be referred to as having more body fat than the optimally healthy individual should have (Hoeger & Hoeger, 2009).

The objectives of this undertaking are to explain the dissimilarity between physical activity, physical fitness and energy expenditure and discuss the diverse kinds of physical activity assessment tools that can be used. Other objectives of this undertaking are to explain and discuss the strengths and weaknesses associated with the various methods of physical assessment and discuss the strengths and disadvantages of the criteria used for the analysis over the other discussed tools (Hoeger & Hoeger, 2009).


In this study, there are three different dimensions on which the physical activity of the target group will be assessed with regard to. One of them is the frequency of the physical activity that the individual or group undertakes. The frequency of physical activity is the number of times or sessions per week that the subject engages in physical activity. The duration of the physical activity will also be considered and this is the length of time the individual uses; in taking the activities that can be considered as physical activities. The intensity of the physical activity will also be given consideration; where the intensity of physical activity is the level of strenuousness, or level of energy expenditure contained in the different physical activities (Bouchard, Blair, & Haskell, 1994).

One of the methods that can be used to assess the physical activity profile of the target group; is the use of self-report measures. Under this assessment method; I will require the respondents to write down or recall the physical activities they have engaged in, during the period under consideration. In this case, I will make use of a self-report instrument to get information regarding the given aspects of physical doings under study. In this case, I would administer questionnaires to the sixty members of the target group; then require that they fill out the questionnaires in the parts where they have to indicate their individual information (Sharkley & Gaskill, 2006).

The advantages of this method are that every respondent gives information that is not biased by the views of the other respondents. The different individuals take the task of their choice. This is to means that the respondents are not compelled to take or give their information. The other advantage is that the method gives information about the future expectations of the respondents, regarding the same subject (Wilmore, Costill & Kenney, 2007).

The disadvantages of this method are that the validity and dependability of this method are low as compared to more direct measures of physical activity. The other disadvantage of this method is that the information given is often biased and faulty. Another disadvantage is that not all the questionnaires given out will be returned (Salas & Saelens, 2000).

The second method of assessment that can be used for the analysis is the global self-reports; in which the questionnaires used are shorter covering only one to four areas of physical activity. This method in general would rate the physical activity of the respondents, with reference to the physical activity behavior of others (Horvat & Block, 2006).

The advantage of this method is that it is easier and faster to administer than the other methods. The disadvantages of this method are that it provides a very limited scale of information; classifies different physical activities within the same cluster of simple activities; assumes that individuals are knowledgeable about physical activity; the information attained is often misrepresented or faulty (Hoeger & Hoeger, 2009).

The method to be used in this case is the Recall survey method; which is usually more detailed thus allowing for a more specific evaluation of frequency, types and duration of physical activity. This study is often used for mass studies and can be administered individually or in groups. Recall surveys are also flexible as they can be administered by the use of paper and pen; from a computer or even online so as to cover a wider populace at the same time (Giles-Brown, 2006).

The advantage of this method which led to its choice is that it is used on individuals of a specifically determined age and that it covers varied recall durations. Other advantages of this method are that it is flexible, can be administered to large groups, provides detailed information, and can be used for cross-cultural comparison purposes. The disadvantages of this method are that it is complex thus difficult and burdensome to complete and that it is only able to cover one domain of physical activities (Winnick, 2005).

From available literature and research, the advantages of recall surveys are that this method is cost-effective and undemanding to use with large groups; is associated with low going to medium coverage burden, as well as provides information to do with frequency, intensity and duration. However, the method is deficient in that the recall capabilities of individuals vary depending on memory and recall capabilities. The other limitations are that it is subject to biases and affected by individual perceptions among other minor limitations (McElroy, 2001).


Physical activity assessment is the practice of examining or analyzing the physical activity engagements; in which the respondents or target group engage. The purpose of a physical activity assessment is to examine the physical activity patterns and practices employed by individuals. From the discussed methods of physical activity assessment; it is evident that the most appropriate of the methods discussed are; the recall survey method, as it allows for usage in groups which is the case in the current study.

Reference list

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Hoeger, W. & Hoeger, S., 2009. Principles and Labs for Fitness. 7th edition. Brooks Cole Publishers

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Salas, J. & Saelens, B., 2000. ‘Assessment of physical activity by self-report: status, Limitations and future directions’, Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, vol. 71, no. 2, pp. 1–14.

Sharkley, B. & Gaskill, S.,2006. Fitness & Health. 6th edition. Human Kinetics Publishers.

Silverstein, A., Silverstein, V. & Nunn, L., 2002. Physical Fitness. Children’s Press.

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Tudor-Locke, C. & Myers, A., 2001. ‘Methodological considerations for researchers and practitioners using pedometers to measure physical (ambulatory) activity’, Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, vol. 72, no. 1, pp. 1–12.

Wilmore, J., Costill, D. & Kenney, W., 2007.Physology of sport and Exercise.4th Edition. Human Kinetics publishers.

Winnick, J., 2005. Adapted physical education and sport. 4th edition. Human Kinetics Press.

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