Abstract Background Most sedentary behavior measures focus on occupational or leisure-time sitting. Our aim was to develop a comprehensive measure of adult sedentary behavior and establish its measurement properties. Method The SIT-Q was developed through expert review (n = 7), cognitive interviewing (n = 11) and pilot testing (n = 34). A convenience sample of 82 adults from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, participated in the measurement property study. Test-retest reliability was assessed by intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) comparing two administrations of the SIT-Q conducted one month apart. Convergent validity was established using Spearman’s rho, by comparing the SIT-Q estimates of sedentary behaviour with values derived from a 7-Day Activity Diary. Results The SIT-Q exhibited good face validity and acceptability during pilot testing. Within the measurement property study, the ICCs for test-retest reliability ranged from 0.31 for leisure-time computer use to 0.86 for occupational sitting. Total daily sitting demonstrated substantial correlation (ICC = 0.65, 95% CI: 0.49, 0.78). In terms of convergent validity, correlations varied from 0.19 for sitting during meals to 0.76 for occupational sitting. For total daily sitting, estimates derived from the SIT-Q and 7 Day Activity Diaries were moderately correlated (ρ = 0.53, p < 0.01). Conclusion The SIT-Q has acceptable measurement properties for use in epidemiologic studies
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