Development and validity of a mentally-passive and mentally-active sedentary time questionnaire in nursing college students

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Qi, Meiling
Gao, Yiming
Zhao, Xiangyu
Jones, Cindy
Moyle, Wendy
Shen, Shiyu
Li, Ping
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Objective: This study aimed to develop and validate a questionnaire to evaluate nursing college students’ mentally-passive and mentally-active sedentary time (M-PAST) in China.

Methods: An initial M-PAST questionnaire with mentally-passive and mentally-active sedentary behaviors was developed with content validity undertaken through a consensus panel and pilot test where a convenience sample of six nursing students was recruited to assess the relevance, comprehensiveness, and comprehensibility of the refined questionnaire after expert panelists’ responses. A cross-sectional online survey using a self-reported questionnaire was distributed to nursing students by email and then conducted using exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) to assess the construct validity of the M-PAST questionnaire and factor structures. Finally, the criterion validity was examined by exploring the associations between the M-PAST and the IPAQ sitting time, psychological distress, and insomnia.

Results: Eight items regarding learning and leisure were included in the final version of the M-PAST questionnaire. A group of 650 nursing college students in China completed the study. Principal component analysis revealed two factors (i.e., mentally-passive and mentally-active sedentary behaviors), which explained 41.98% of the variance contributing to the questionnaire. The CFA reached the adaptive standard. Cronbach’s α ranged from 0.730 to 0.742. The correlations between M-PAST and IPAQ total sitting time were significant (p < 0.01, r = 0.125–0.396). Mentally-passive sedentary time was associated with psychological distress and insomnia (p < 0.01, r = 0.078–0.163), while no significant associations were found in mentally-active sedentary behaviors.

Conclusion and implications for practice: The M-PAST questionnaire appears to be a reliable and valid tool that reported both mentally-passive and mentally-active sedentary behaviors in nursing college students in China. However, future studies may need to further examine its validity among international nursing college students. This study further confirmed that mentally-passive sedentary behavior was positively associated with psychological distress and insomnia. Effective strategies are needed to reduce nursing college students’ mentally-passive sedentary time to improve their health and wellbeing in China.

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Frontiers in Public Health

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© 2023 Qi, Gao, Zhao, Jones, Moyle, Shen and Li. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

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Health services and systems

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sedentary behavior


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Qi, M; Gao, Y; Zhao, X; Jones, C; Moyle, W; Shen, S; Li, P, Development and validity of a mentally-passive and mentally-active sedentary time questionnaire in nursing college students, Frontiers in Public Health, 2023, 11, pp. 1180853