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Valid measurements of self-reported physical activity are very limited in Chinese populations, especially the elderly. Therefore, we examined the validity and reliability of the Chinese version of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ-C) in older Chinese people.Two hundred twenty-four older adults (66.1% women, 33.9% men, mean age 65.2 ± 5.7 yr) were randomly selected from the Guangzhou Biobank Cohort Study, a prospective cohort of older Chinese in Southern China. To examine the test-retest reliability, the participants completed the IPAQ-C twice during a 7-d interval. The criterion validity of the IPAQ-C was tested with pedometry.Good reliability was observed between the repeated IPAQ-C, with intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) ranging from 0.81 to 0.89. Total activity measured by IPAQ-C correlated moderately with the pedometer-measured steps (partial r = 0.33 adjusted for sex, age, and education; P < 0.001). The walking domain of IPAQ-C was strongly associated with the number of steps (partial r = 0.58, P < 0.001), but there were no significant associations between other activity domains of the IPAQ-C and the pedometer data.This is the first reported validation study of an international standardized questionnaire (IPAQ-C) in older Chinese adults. Our study shows that the IPAQ-C is adequately valid and reliable for assessing total physical activity and that it may be a useful instrument for generating internationally comparable data on physical activity in this population.