• Nucharapon Liangruenrom
  • Melinda Craike
  • Dorothea Dumuid
  • Stuart J. H. Biddle
  • Catrine Tudor-Locke
  • Barbara Ainsworth
  • Chutima Jalayondeja
  • Theun Pieter Van Tienoven
  • Ugo Lachapelle
  • Djiwo Weenas
  • David Berrigan
  • Timothy Olds
  • Zeljko Pedisic
Globally, the International Classification of Activities for Time-Use Statistics (ICATUS) is one of the most widely used time-use classifications to identify time spent in various activities. Comprehensive 24-h activities that can be extracted from ICATUS provide possible implications for the use of time-use data in relation to activity-health associations; however, these activities are not classified in a way that makes such analysis feasible. This study, therefore, aimed to develop criteria for classifying ICATUS activities into sleep, sedentary behaviour (SB), light physical activity (LPA), and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), based on expert assessment.

We classified activities from the Trial ICATUS 2005 and final ICATUS 2016. One author assigned METs and codes for wakefulness status and posture, to all subclass activities in the Trial ICATUS 2005. Once coded, one author matched the most detailed level of activities from the ICATUS 2016 with the corresponding activities in the Trial ICATUS 2005, where applicable. The assessment and harmonisation of each ICATUS activity were reviewed independently and anonymously by four experts, as part of a Delphi process. Given a large number of ICATUS activities, four separate Delphi panels were formed for this purpose. A series of Delphi survey rounds were repeated until a consensus among all experts was reached.

Consensus about harmonisation and classification of ICATUS activities was reached by the third round of the Delphi survey in all four panels. A total of 542 activities were classified into sleep, SB, LPA, and MVPA categories. Of these, 390 activities were from the Trial ICATUS 2005 and 152 activities were from the final ICATUS 2016. The majority of ICATUS 2016 activities were harmonised into the ICATUS activity groups (n = 143).

Based on expert consensus, we developed a classification system that enables ICATUS-based time-use data to be classified into sleep, SB, LPA, and MVPA categories. Adoption and consistent use of this classification system will facilitate standardisation of time-use data processing for the purpose of sleep, SB and physical activity research, and improve between-study comparability. Future studies should test the applicability of the classification system by applying it to empirical data.
Original languageEnglish
Article number106
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 14 Nov 2019

    Research areas

  • ICATUS, Time-use survey, Physical activity, Sedentary behaviour, Sleep, Time-use epidemiology

ID: 48731936