See also met.
The ratio of the metabolic rate of the average person while seated and resting, to the metabolic rate of a particular person while performing some task. The symbol MET comes from metabolic equivalents of task. It is commonly used in medicine to express metabolic rates measured during a treadmill test. Two definitions of the MET are met with, essentially equivalent:
In a treadmill test, actually measuring METs requires that the person being tested wear a mask in order to measure his or her oxygen consumption (and the carbon dioxide exhaled). However, METs are often estimated on the basis of other factors.
METs can be converted to kilocalories consumed per minute: kcal/min = METs × body weight in kilograms ÷ 60.
Oxygen consumption in liters per hour = METs × body weight in kilograms ÷ 0.21
Some METs for various activities:
|2||walking at 2 miles per hour|
|5||walking at 4 miles per hour, level firm surface|
|8||jogging at 6 miles per hour|
|12.5||very vigorous effort on a stationary bike|
G.A. Brooks, T.D. Fahey and T.P. White.
Exercise Physiology: Human Bioenergetics and its Applications (2nd ed.).
Mountain View, CA: Mayfield Publishing Company, 1995.
A very full listing of energy expenditures in various activities is given by:
B. E. Ainsworth.
The Compendium of Physical Activities Tracking Guide.
Prevention Research Center, Norman J. Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina (January 2002).
Available online at http://prevention.sph.sc.edu/tools/docs/documents_compendium.pdf
A page on the history and use of Ainsworth's publication is at
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Last revised: 29 October 2017.