Saturday, July 22, 2006

Metabolic Equivalent (MET)

A metabolic equivalent (MET) is a multiple of the resting oxygen consumption, or the metabolic rate consuming 3.5 milliliters of oxygen per kilogram of body weight per minute, or the metabolic rate consuming 1 kilocalorie per kilogram of body weight per hour.

The intensity of exercise is determined by a specified percentage of the client’s maximal oxygen consumption or functional capacity (50 percent to 85 percent) and then choosing activities that are known to require energy expenditure at a desired level.

A functional capacity is the maximum amount of oxygen used per kilogram of body weight. Working at, let’s say, 50% of functional capacity of 10 is working at 5 METS. Several activities are around 5 METS. These include walking a moderate pace.

Some sports at times of excursion, such as hockey or football, are 7 METS and higher. Running on a treadmill at a high speed and intensity would be 7 METS and above. Other factors are taken in with METS to determine exercise difficulty. These factors include sickness, oxygen in the air, hills, heat, humidity, and air pollution.

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