Table of Contents

Component Description

The NHANES program suspended field operations in March 2020 due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. As a result, data collection for the NHANES 2019-2020 cycle was not completed and the collected data are not nationally representative. Therefore, data collected from 2019 to March 2020 were combined with data from the NHANES 2017-2018 cycle to form a nationally representative sample of NHANES 2017-March 2020 pre-pandemic data. These data are available to the public. Please refer to the Analytic Notes section for more details on the use of the data.

The youth section of the Physical Activity questionnaire (variable name prefix PAQY) consists of question PAQ706 and provides respondent-level interview data on physical activities.

Eligible Sample

Participants aged 2 to 17 years, in the NHANES 2017-March 2020 pre-pandemic sample are included in this dataset.

Interview Setting and Mode of Administration

The questionnaire was asked in the home, by trained interviewers, using the Computer Assisted Personal Interview (CAPI) system for persons 2 to 11 and 16 to 17 years of age. For respondents aged 12 to 15 years of age, the questionnaire was asked in the Mobile Examination Center (MEC).

Persons 12 years of age and older and emancipated minors were interviewed directly. A proxy provided information for survey participants who were under 12 years of age and for individuals who could not answer the questions themselves. The respondent selected the language of interview (English or Spanish) or requested that an interpreter be used. Hand cards, showing response choices or information that survey participants needed to answer the questions, were used for some questions. The hand cards were printed in English, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese (both traditional and simplified), Korean, and Vietnamese. The interviewer directed the respondent to the appropriate hand card during the interview. When necessary, the interviewer further assisted the respondent by reading the response choices listed on the hand cards.

The NHANES 2017-2018 and 2019-2020 questionnaires are available on the NHANES website.

Quality Assurance & Quality Control

The CAPI system is programmed with built-in consistency checks to reduce data entry errors. CAPI also uses online help screens to assist interviewers in defining key terms used in the questionnaire.

After collection, interview data were reviewed by the NHANES field office staff for accuracy and completeness of selected items. The interviewers were required to audio-record interviews and the recorded interviews were reviewed by NCHS staff and interviewer supervisors.

Data Processing and Editing

Frequency counts were checked, “skip” patterns were verified, and the reasonableness of question responses was reviewed. Edits were made to some variables to ensure the completeness, consistency, and analytic usefulness of the data. Edits were also made, when necessary, to address data disclosure concerns.

Analytic Notes

The COVID-19 pandemic required suspension of NHANES 2019-2020 field operations in March 2020 after data were collected in 18 of the 30 survey locations in the 2019-2020 sample. Because the collected data were not nationally representative, these data were combined with data from the previous cycle (2017-2018) to create a 2017-March 2020 pre-pandemic data file. A special weighting process was applied to the 2017-March 2020 pre-pandemic data file. The resulting sample weights in the demographic data file should be used to calculate estimates from the combined cycles. These sample weights are not appropriate for independent analyses of the 2019-2020 data and will not yield nationally representative results for either the 2017-2018 data alone or the 2019-March 2020 data alone. Please refer to the NHANES website for additional information for the NHANES 2017-March 2020 pre-pandemic data, and for the previous 2017-2018 public use data file with specific weights for that 2-year cycle.

Since the questionnaire was asked during the household interview for respondents 2 to 11 and 16 or more years, the interview sample weights should be used in their analysis. However, if the data is merged with data from the MEC, the MEC sample weights should be used. Analysis of the questionnaire for participants aged 12 to 15 should use the MEC sample weights as the questionnaire was asked in the MEC.

Codebook and Frequencies

SEQN - Respondent sequence number

Variable Name:
SAS Label:
Respondent sequence number
English Text:
Respondent sequence number.
Both males and females 2 YEARS - 17 YEARS

PAQ706 - Days physically active at least 60 min.

Variable Name:
SAS Label:
Days physically active at least 60 min.
English Text:
I'd like to ask you some questions about {your/SP's} activities. During the past 7 days, on how many days {were you/was SP} physically active for a total of at least 60 minutes per day? Add up all the time {you/he/she} spent in any kind of physical activity that increased {your/his/her} heart rate and made {you/him/her} breathe hard some of the time.
Both males and females 2 YEARS - 17 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
0 0 days 321 321
1 1 day 195 516
2 2 days 332 848
3 3 days 430 1278
4 4 days 381 1659
5 5 days 779 2438
6 6 days 325 2763
7 7 days 1989 4752
77 Refused 0 4752
99 Don't know 22 4774
. Missing 39 4813