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Disabil Rehabil. 2010;32(4):336-43. doi: 10.3109/09638280903114402.

Determining metabolic equivalent values of physical activities for persons with paraplegia.

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  • 1Department of Nutrition and Exercise Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon 97331, USA.



The compendium of physical activity (CPA) may not be appropriate for persons with paraplegia (PP) because of their possible low resting metabolic rate (RMR), or 1 MET, and a lack of physical activities (PAs) engaged by PP in the CPA. A CPA supplement, therefore, is needed. The purpose of this study was to examine the feasibility of constructing a short supplement for PP with two specific aims: to determine whether PP need an alternative 1-MET value and if selected PA can be classified into corresponding categories based on their 'engagement' and 'energy expenditure (EE)' characteristics.


Thirty-one PP (161.26 cm +/- 22.99 cm, 60.52 kg +/- 15.32 kg, and 24.16 +/- 6.25 years) were recruited. RMR and 10 PA with different intensities were measured using indirect calorimetry. The z- and t-tests were employed to examine MET difference between the measured values and those of CPA (alpha = 0.05).


One-MET for PP (3.1 mL/kg/min) was lower than that of the CPA (3.5 mL/kg/min). Although some MET values were found to be similar to those in the CPA, others were statistically significantly different.


To be able to measure PA-related EE of a disability subpopulation using the CPA accurately, a supplement that accounts for the impact of different types of activities and the EE characteristics of the subpopulation must be developed.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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