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Am J Clin Nutr. 1994 Mar;59(3):556-9.

Effect of sedentary activities on resting metabolic rate.

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  • 1Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Boston Floating Hospital, MA 02111.


We examined the effect of television viewing on resting metabolic rate (RMR) in a cohort of 9 obese and 18 nonobese girls aged 10.4 +/- 1.1 y. RMR was measured while girls watched television, read, or sat quietly for 15 min. Movement was assessed by using activity monitors and a manual count of movements observed on a videotape. Absolute RMR was greater for the obese girls, but no significant treatment effect existed for absolute RMR within either group. Although measured activity did not differ, observed movements were greater when the girls were sitting quietly. Total observed and measured movements were significantly correlated with the CV of the minute-by-minute RMR. These results suggest that television viewing does not alter RMR. Although children appear to fidget more when sitting quietly than when they read or watch television, fidgeting appears to affect the minute-to-minute variation of RMR rather than the level of resting energy expenditure.

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