Accelerometer Output and MET Values of Common Physical Activities

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Purpose:This article 1) provides the calibration procedures and methods for metabolic and activity monitor data collection, 2) compares measured MET values to the MET values from the compendium of physical activities, and 3) examines the relationship between accelerometer output and METs for a range of physical activities.Methods:Participants (N = 277) completed 11 activities for 7 min each from a menu of 23 physical activities. Oxygen consumption (V˙O2) was measured using a portable metabolic system, and an accelerometer was worn. MET values were defined as measured METs (V˙O2/measured resting metabolic rate) and standard METs (V˙O2/3.5 mL·kg−1·min−1). For the total sample and by subgroup (age [young < 40 yr], sex, and body mass index [normal weight < 25 kg·m−2]), measured METs and standard METs were compared with the compendium, using 95% confidence intervals to determine statistical significance (α = 0.05). Average counts per minute for each activity and the linear association between counts per minute and METs are presented.Results:Compendium METs were different than measured METs for 17/21 activities (81%). The number of activities different than the compendium was similar between subgroups or when standard METs were used. The average counts for the activities ranged from 11 counts per minute (dishes) to 7490 counts per minute (treadmill: 2.23 m·s−1, 3%). The r2 between counts and METs was 0.65.Conclusions:This study provides valuable information about data collection, metabolic responses, and accelerometer output for common physical activities in a diverse participant sample. The compendium should be updated with additional empirical data, and linear regression models are inappropriate for accurately predicting METs from accelerometer output.

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