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.
Some information for this blog is taken from http://www.sizes.com/units/metequiv.htm.
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