How is it done?
Important steps to get started.

  1. Read carefully the EUPASMOS Manual of Operations;
  2. Make sure you have all the necessary material to implement the project (translated and validated questionnaires, material for anthropometric data collection, and accelerometers);
  3. If questionnaires are not validated in your country language, develop a validation process as described in the EUPASMOS Manual of Operations (Chapter 2.7. Methodological process for the 1st phase);
  4. In order to ensure a large, representative, and sufficiently heterogeneous sample, its important to develop contacts with a wide range of institutions, and involve hard-to-reach groups, Public organizations (national governmental national statistic bureaus, national, regional and local public authorities), schools and universities, corporations bodies, and firms, NGOs, nursing homes, day care centres (for elderly citizens), and individual participants could be contacted; social media could be a relevant support to disseminate the project and increase sample size;
  5. Create an objective plan and a concrete timeline to implement the survey and collect data;
  6. Before start data collection, train all team members regarding the methodology procedures;
  7. Before start data collection, ensure that all the measurement instruments, questionnaires (online, preferably) and validated accelerometers are available;
  8. Regarding accelerometers, the delivery and fitting to the participants should be done personally by a team member. Make sure that participants have no doubts about any technical procedure to be developed during the 7-day monitoring period;
  9. After this 7-day monitoring period, ensure all the necessary conditions to receive the accelerometers and download the data. Additional questionnaires can be also applied at this moment.



Age, sex, and socio-economic status are relevant determinants for sedentary behavior, physical activity levels and sport participation. The number of participants included in the sample should consider the country's total population and their distribution at the different country regions, taking also into account age, sex, and socio-economic status.

  • At national level surveys, aim to include a sample of, at least, 1000 individuals;
  • Sample distribution should be adjusted according to the country population distribution:
    // Sex (e.g. 50% men/50% women);
    // Age groups (18-34, 35-49, 50-64, and >65 years-old);
    // Socio-economic status;
  • Aim to include adults and older adults, people with locomotor disabilities, and pregnant women;

Legend: Example of a sample distribution.

Participants codification

Participants codification is a relevant step in this data collection process. The EUPASMOS Manual of Operation (Chapter 2.2. Participants’ codification) clearly describes an example to organize this task.


Weight, height, waist and hip circumference should be measured according to standardized procedures described in the EUPASMOS Manual of Operations (Chapter 2.3. Anthropometric data).

  1. Check if there is a translated version of the survey questionnaires in the corresponding language of your country;
  2. If possible, prepare the questionnaire application using a digital support platform complying with GDPR;
  3. Test the online form before starting to collect the data in order to correct any problems that may occur;
  4. If possible, prefer applying the questionnaires face to face with the participant;
  5. Do not abbreviate the questions; use all the text as stated in the original version.

Questionnaires used in EUPASMOS framework to collect data about socio-demographic and health status, sedentary behavior, physical activity and sport participation:

  • European Health Interview Survey - Wave 3 (EHIS): participant’s socio-demographic data, health status, and physical activity levels were collected using questions derived directly from the EHIS questionnaire. This question- naire is being used in Europe for quite long and is part of the EUROSTAT system to collect the above mentioned data;
  • International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ-SF): IPAQ assesses total physical activity level by collecting information on the number of days and the duration of vigorous-intensity, moderate-intensity and walking in periods of at least 10 continuous minutes; sedentary behavior regarding sitting time is also measured;
  • Global Physical Activity Questionnaire (GPAQ): collects information on physical activity participation in three domains (work, transportation, and recreational) as well as overall sedentary behavior;
  • Eurobarometer - Sport and Physical Activity Questionnaire: this questionnaire measures the frequency and levels of engagement in organized exercise or sports activities, recreational or non-sport-related physical activities, vigorous and moderate physical activity, walking, and sitting time.

Questionnaires used to collect data about sport and physical activity correlates and determinants:

  • Short Form-36 Health Survey (SF-36) - The SF-36 is a questionnaire originally designed to measure health status and is often used as a measure population's quality of life. The questions reflect 8 domains of health, including physical functioning, physical role, pain, general health, vitality, social function, emotional role, and mental health.
  • Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale Confirmatory Factor Analysis (NEWS-CFA) - This questionnaire accesses residents' perception of neighborhood design features related to physical activity, including residential density, land use mix, street connectivity, infrastructure for walking/cycling, neighborhood aesthetics, traffic and crime safety, and neighborhood satisfaction.

The accelerometers objectively measure physical activity and sedentary behavior. EUPASMOS used the UKK RM42, a lightweight triaxial accelerometer that should be used on the right hip, near the iliac crest and under the clothes (can be in direct contact with the skin) during the waking hours (excluding the time spent in water activities) and on the wristband (non-dominant hand) during the sleep time. Using recent algorithms to process data, it has the ability to discriminate different types of sedentary behavior (e.g. sitting, standing and sleeping).

Considering the widely used and previously validated criteria of 600 minutes (10 hours) to define a valid day, a minimum of 10 hours of wear time when collecting data should be respected. However, and taking into consideration the recent published 24-h recommendations for physical activity and sedentary behaviour, the EUPASMOS framework recommended to each participant a 24 hours per day wear time.