Perceived physical activity (LIVAS: Lichamelijke Vaardigheden Schaal)

Perceived physical activity (LIVAS: Lichamelijke Vaardigheden Schaal)

LASA filenames:
LASA114 / LASA314

Contact: Dorly Deeg


The LIVAS is a questionnaire, tapping how a person perceives his or her physical abilities. It is based on Bandura’s self-efficacy theory, in which self-efficacy is referred to as “the belief in one’s capabilities to organize and execute the courses of action required to produce given attainments”. Efficacy beliefs form a major basis of action if people believe that they can produce desired effects by their actions. In LASA, it is hypothesized that beliefs in physical capabilities may explain why certain elderly remain active while others, in otherwise similar circumstances, slow down, with possible consequences for mobility, independence and quality of life.

Measurements in LASA

The LIVAS has been administered in LASA-A to LASA-F, as part of the self-administered questionnaire. Item scores can be obtained from LASAB114, LASAC114, LASAD114, LASAE114, LAS2B114, and LASAF114. Scale scores can be obtained from LASAB314, LASAC314, LASAD314, LASAE314, LAS2B314, and LASAF314.

Scale items

The scale is based on the Perceived Physical Ability (PPA) scale (Ryckman et al., 1982). The questionnaire consists of 10 items, asking subjects to evaluate their physical abilities compared to other people of their own age.

The items have to be rated on a five-point scale. Example: Compared to most people of my age I probably walk (1) “much slower”, (2) “somewhat slower”, (3) “just as fast”, (4) “somewhat faster”, (5) “much faster”. The scale scores therefore vary between 10 and 50. Because 6 items have response categories ranging from (1) very positive to (5) very negative, they are recoded in order to have higher scores representing more positive physical self-efficacy beliefs. Items include comparisons on:

  1. flexibility
  2. reaction time
  3. overall strength
  4. physical condition
  5. smooth movements
  6. climbing stairs
  7. strength in hands
  8. walking speed
  9. balance
  10. overall activity


LASAB114 / LASAC114 / LASAD114 / LASAE114 / LAS2B114 / LASAF114 (self-administered questionnaire, in Dutch)

Variable information

LASAB114 / LASAC114 / LASAD114 / LASAE114 / LAS2B114 / LASAF114;
LASAB314 / LASAC314 / LASAD314 / LASAE314 / LAS2B314 / LASAF314 (scale scores)

Availability of information per wave




¹ More information about the LASA data collection waves is available here.

* 2B=baseline second cohort;
3B=baseline third cohort;
MB=migrants: baseline first cohort

Sa=data collected in self-administered questionnaire

Previous use in LASA

Bosscher (1997) showed that respondents with chronic conditions had significantly lower expectations of physical competence than respondents without. Pain appeared to have a significant influence. Respondents who reported pain in combination with chronic conditions had significantly lower expectations of physical competence than respondents without pain.

Lower levels of three measures of physical performance (mobility, strength and dexterity) were accompanied by lower expectations of physical competence as measured by the LIVAS (Bosscher et al, 1995). While the results were most robust for the male respondents, the overall results support the concurrent validity of the PPA for both genders.

The results of a study by Parkatti et al. (1998) supported the role of physical self-efficacy as a mediator in the association between physical activity and self-rated health, even after controlling for age, gender, and chronic conditions.


  1. Ryckman, R. M., Robbins, M. A., Thornton, B., & Cantrell, P. (1982). Development and validation of a physical self-efficacy scale. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 891-900.

Syntax: perceived physical activity syntax (pdf)

Date of last update: October 20, 2016 (LS)