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Table 1 Sources of misunderstanding or difficulty identified during the cognitive interviews (n = 11)

From: Development and testing of a past year measure of sedentary behavior: the SIT-Q

Sources of misunderstanding/confusion

Initial wording of SIT-Q

Revised wording of SIT-Q



• Confusion about use of ‘activity’ to describe time spent sitting or lying down.

• Do your best to estimate your usual activity pattern.

• The amount of time you spent sitting or lying down may have varied over the past 12 months. Do your best to estimate your usual pattern over the past 12 months.

• Uncertainty about the concept of ‘double-counting’.

• Do not double-count time. For each of the activities only count the time where this was your main activity. The total hours should not add up to more than 24 hours.

• For each of the sitting tasks only count the time where this was your main focus. For example, if you spent one hour sitting on the sofa reading a book while you had a CD on in the background, count this time as one hour reading (do not also ‘double count’ as one hour listening to music).

Sleeping and Napping


• Uncertainty whether to include time spent lying in bed before falling asleep as sleep time.

• Please record the usual number of hours of sleep for weekdays and weekends.

• Please record how long you usually slept on weekdays and weekends. This may include time you spent lying quietly while waiting to fall asleep, or after awakening.

• Understanding what was meant by ‘usually take a daily nap’ was difficult for some.

• If you did not usually take a daily nap on weekdays or weekends over the past 12 months, please write “0” in the response section. How long did you usually nap per day?

• Did you take a nap each day, on either weekdays or weekends, over the past 12 months? How long did you usually nap per day (do not include occasional naps)?



• Difficulty incorporating semi-regular driving that is neither usual daily trips nor a holiday.

• Please record the usual amount of time you spent sitting during transportation over the past 12 months. Do not include one-off trips like holidays. Record the usual hours per day for weekdays and weekends.

Note: no change was made in this instance; response will be dependent on participant’s perception of “usual”.

• Participants indicated that separate questions for driving a car and being a passenger were not necessary.

• Record the usual hours per day for weekdays and weekends (a) driving a car (b) sitting as a passenger in a car, bus, train etc.

• How long did you usually spend sitting during transport per day?

• Some misunderstanding about instruction regarding ‘transportation while at work’.

• Do not include time sitting in an automobile while at work.

• Do not report time spent sitting during transportation as part of your job (you will be asked about this later).

Work, study and volunteering


• One participant recorded 52 weeks spent in her job, even though she verbally said she only worked 48 weeks, with four weeks vacation.

• Weeks per year? Note: no instruction other than a heading for the response section

• Do not include holiday time here, even if it is paid vacation.

• How many weeks in the past 12 months did you do job # 1?

• Difficulty in separating out times spent doing light office tasks like typing or reading, as these were done at the same time as talking to others. Participants reported multi-tasking was frequent, and hence it would be easier to provide an overall estimate of sitting time at work, rather than for separate work tasks.

• Record the amount of time you spent doing the following sitting tasks as part of your job over the past 12 months:

• How much time per day did you spend sitting for your job? (include driving and travelling while doing this job; do not include time commuting to and from this job).

 (a) driving or travelling in a car (do not include operating heavy machinery)

 (b) non-strenuous tasks while sitting (typing, reading, light assembly)

 (c) sitting while talking to others (on the telephone, during meetings).

• Need for response option of “never” for the items about breaking up sedentary time.

• How often do you ‘break up’ the time you spend sitting in job # 1?

• How often did you ‘break up’ the time you spent sitting in job # 1?

 (a) less than hourly

 (a) less than hourly

 (b) hourly

 (b) hourly

 (c) half hourly

 (c) half hourly

 (d) every 10 minutes

 (d) every 10 minutes

 (e) every 5 minutes.

 (d) every 5 minutes

 (f) I did not sit for more than 30 minutes in a day.

Household chores and childcare


• Participants spent almost no time sitting for any household chores. All such tasks were done from a standing position. Participants could not identify with the example tasks provided.

• Chores done sitting down on weekdays and weekends (examples: food preparation, folding clean clothes, household accounts, polishing silver).

Note: household chores section removed from SIT-Q.

• Participants felt that the question and examples about childcare in this section could also apply for looking after elderly parents or other family members with disabilities.

• Child-care tasks while sitting down on weekdays and weekends (examples: nursing a baby, feeding a child, reading to a child).

• How long did you usually spend sitting or lying down while caring for your child per day? (examples: nursing baby, helping child with homework).


• How long did you usually spend sitting down while caring for elderly family member per day? (examples: reading aloud, assistance with eating meals).