This study reports energy expenditure (EE) data for lifestyle and ambulatory activities in young children.
Eleven children aged 3 to 6 years (mean age = 4.8 ± 0.9; 55% boys) completed 12 semistructured activities including sedentary behaviors (SB), light (LPA), and moderate-to-vigorous physical activities (MVPA) over 2 laboratory visits while wearing a portable metabolic system to measure EE.
Mean EE values for SB (TV, reading, tablet and toy play) were between 0.9 to 1.1 kcal/min. Standing art had an energy cost that was 1.5 times that of SB (mean = 1.4 kcal/min), whereas bike riding (mean = 2.5 kcal/min) was similar to LPA (cleaning-up, treasure hunt and walking) (mean = 2.3 to 2.5 kcal/min), which had EE that were 2.5 times SB. EE for MVPA (running, active games and obstacle course) was 4.2 times SB (mean = 3.8 to 3.9 kcal/min).
EE values reported in this study can contribute to the limited available data on the energy cost of lifestyle and ambulatory activities in young children.