Metabolic equivalent: one size does not fit all.

School of Human Movement Studies, Queensland Univ. of Technology, Victoria Park Rd., Kelvin Grove, Q4059, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
Journal of Applied Physiology (Impact Factor: 3.43). 10/2005; 99(3):1112-9. DOI: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00023.2004
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The metabolic equivalent (MET) is a widely used physiological concept that represents a simple procedure for expressing energy cost of physical activities as multiples of resting metabolic rate (RMR). The value equating 1 MET (3.5 ml O2 x kg(-1) x min(-1) or 1 kcal x kg(-1) x h(-1)) was first derived from the resting O2 consumption (VO2) of one person, a 70-kg, 40-yr-old man. Given the extensive use of MET levels to quantify physical activity level or work output, we investigated the adequacy of this scientific convention. Subjects consisted of 642 women and 127 men, 18-74 yr of age, 35-186 kg in weight, who were weight stable and healthy, albeit obese in some cases. RMR was measured by indirect calorimetry using a ventilated hood system, and the energy cost of walking on a treadmill at 5.6 km/h was measured in a subsample of 49 men and 49 women (26-45 kg/m2; 29-47 yr). Average VO2 and energy cost corresponding with rest (2.6 +/- 0.4 ml O2 x kg(-1) x min(-1) and 0.84 +/- 0.16 kcal x kg(-1) x h(-1), respectively) were significantly lower than the commonly accepted 1-MET values of 3.5 ml O2 x kg(-1) x min(-1) and 1 kcal x kg(-1) x h(-1), respectively. Body composition (fat mass and fat-free mass) accounted for 62% of the variance in resting VO2 compared with age, which accounted for only 14%. For a large heterogeneous sample, the 1-MET value of 3.5 ml O2 x kg(-1) x min(-1) overestimates the actual resting VO2 value on average by 35%, and the 1-MET of 1 kcal/h overestimates resting energy expenditure by 20%. Using measured or predicted RMR (ml O2 x kg(-1) x min(-1) or kcal x kg(-1) x h(-1)) as a correction factor can appropriately adjust for individual differences when estimating the energy cost of moderate intensity walking (5.6 km/h).

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    ABSTRACT: AimsExercise increases risk of ventricular arrhythmia in subjects with arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC). We aimed to investigate the impact of exercise on myocardial function in ARVC subjects.Methods and ResultsWe included 110 subjects (age 42 ± 17 years), 65 ARVC patients and 45 mutation-positive family members. Athletes were defined as subjects with ≥4 h vigorous exercise/week [≥1440 metabolic equivalents (METs × minutes/week)] during a minimum of 6 years. Athlete definition was fulfilled in 37/110 (34%) subjects. We assessed right ventricular (RV) and left ventricular (LV) myocardial function by echocardiography, and by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The RV function by RV fractional area change (FAC), RV global longitudinal strain (GLS) by echocardiography, and RV ejection fraction (EF) by MRI was reduced in athletes compared with non-athletes (FAC 34 ± 9% vs. 40 ± 11%, RVGLS –18.3 ± 6.1% vs. –22.0 ± 4.8%, RVEF 32 ± 8% vs. 43 ± 10%, all P < 0.01). LV function by LVEF and LVGLS was reduced in athletes compared with non-athletes (LVEF by echocardiography 50 ± 10% vs. 57 ± 5%, LVEF by MRI 46 ± 6% vs. 53 ± 8%, and LVGLS –16.7 ± 4.2% vs. –19.4 ± 2.9%, all P < 0.01). The METs × minutes/week correlated with reduced RV and LV function by echocardiography and MRI (all P < 0.01). The LVEF by MRI was also reduced in subgroups of athlete index patients (46 ± 7% vs. 54 ± 10%, P = 0.02) and in athlete family members (47 ± 3% vs. 52 ± 6%, P < 0.05).Conclusion Athletes showed reduced biventricular function compared with non-athletes in ARVC patients and in mutation-positive family members. The amount and intensity of exercise activity was associated with impaired LV and RV function. Exercise may aggravate and accelerate myocardial dysfunction in ARVC.
    European Journal of Heart Failure 10/2014; · 5.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: International Journal of Exercise Science 7(4) : 311-317, 2014. VO2 and heart rate (HR) are widely used when determining appropriate training intensities for clinical, healthy, and athletic populations. It has been shown that if the % reserve (%R) is used, rather than % of max, HR and VO2 can be used interchangeably to accurately prescribe exercise intensities. Thus, heart rate reserve (HRR) can be prescribed if VO2 reserve (VO2R) is known. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to compare VO2 R and HRR during moderate intensity exercise (50%R). Physically active college students performed a maximal treadmill test to exhaustion. During which VO2 and HR were monitored to determine max values. Upon completion of the maximal test, calculations were made to determine the % grade expected to yield approximately 50% of the subjects VO2R. Subjects then returned to complete the submaximal test (50%R) at least two days later. The %VO2R and %HRR were calculated and compared to the predicted value as well as to each other. Statistical analysis revealed that VO2 at 50%R was significantly greater than the actual VO2 achieved, p  .001. Conversely, the mean predicted HR at 50%R was significantly less than the actual HR achieved, p  .001. In conclusion, this study indicated that VO2 could be more accurately predicted than HR during moderate intensity exercise. The weak correlation between VO2R and HRR indicates that caution should be used when relying on a HR to determine VO2.
    International Journal of Exercise Science. 01/2014; 7(4):311-317.