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The Energy Expenditure of Free-Living Physical Activities in Primary Schoolchildren

Alison L. Innerd and Liane B. Azevedo


The aim of this study is to establish the energy expenditure (EE) of a range of child-relevant activities and to compare different methods of estimating activity MET.


27 children (17 boys) aged 9 to 11 years participated. Participants were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 routines of 6 activities ranging from sedentary to vigorous intensity. Indirect calorimetry was used to estimate resting and physical activity EE. Activity metabolic equivalent (MET) was determined using individual resting metabolic rate (RMR), the Harrell-MET and the Schofield equation.


Activity EE ranges from 123.7± 35.7 J/min/Kg (playing cards) to 823.1 ± 177.8 J/min/kg (basketball). Individual RMR, the Harrell-MET and the Schofield equation MET prediction were relatively similar at light and moderate but not at vigorous intensity. Schofield equation provided a better comparison with the Compendium of Energy Expenditure for Youth.


This information might be advantageous to support the development of a new Compendium of Energy Expenditure for Youth.