The Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly (PASE): Evidence for validity

Richard A. Washburn, Edward McAuley, Jeffrey Katula, Shannon L. Mihalko, Richard A. Boileau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We assessed the validity of the Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly (PASE) in a sample of sedentary adults (56 men, 134 women, mean age ± [SD] 66.5 ± 5.3 years) who volunteered to participate in a randomized controlled trial on the effect of aerobic conditioning on psychological function. Construct validity was established by correlating PASE scores with physiologic and performance characteristics: peak oxygen uptake, resting heart rate and blood pressure, percent body fat, and balance. The mean PASE scores were higher in men than in women (men = 145.8 ± 78.0; women = 123.9 ± 66.3, P < 0.05), and in those age 55-64 years compared with those age 65 years and over (55-64 = 144.2 ± 75.8; 65 and over = 118.9 ± 63.9, P < 0.05). PASE scores were also significantly higher in those who did not report a chronic health condition (cardiovascular disease, hypertension, cancer, or recent surgery). PASE scores were significantly associated (P < 0.05) with peak oxygen uptake (r = 0.20), systolic blood pressure (r = -0.18) and balance score (r = 0.20). No significant associations of PASE score and diastolic blood pressure, resting heart rate, or percent body fat were noted. These results provide additional evidence for the validity of the PASE as a measure of physical activity suitable for use in epidemiology studies on the association of physical activity, health, and physical function in older individuals. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)643-651
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Epidemiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1999


  • Aging
  • Physical activity assessment
  • Validity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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