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BMC Public Health. 2015 May 29;15:516. doi: 10.1186/s12889-015-1851-x.

Energy expenditure during common sitting and standing tasks: examining the 1.5 MET definition of sedentary behaviour.

Author information

  • 1School of Sport, Exercise & Health Sciences, Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 3TU, UK. M.Mansoubi@lboro.ac.uk.
  • 2School of Sport, Exercise & Health Sciences, Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 3TU, UK. N.L.Pearson@lboro.ac.uk.
  • 3School of Sport, Exercise & Health Sciences, Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 3TU, UK. S.A.Clemes@lboro.ac.uk.
  • 4The NIHR Leicester-Loughborough Diet, Lifestyle and Physical Activity Biomedical Research Unit, Leicester-Loughborough, Leicestershire, UK. S.A.Clemes@lboro.ac.uk.
  • 5Institute of Sport, Exercise & Active Living, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia. stuart.biddle@vu.ed.au.
  • 6Leicester Diabetes Centre, Leicester General Hospital, University of Leicester, Leicester, Leicestershire, UK. dhm6@leicester.ac.uk.
  • 7School of Sport, Exercise & Health Sciences, Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 3TU, UK. K.Tolfrey@lboro.ac.uk.
  • 8The NIHR Leicester-Loughborough Diet, Lifestyle and Physical Activity Biomedical Research Unit, Leicester-Loughborough, Leicestershire, UK. ce95@leicester.ac.uk.
  • 9Leicester Diabetes Centre, Leicester General Hospital, University of Leicester, Leicester, Leicestershire, UK. ce95@leicester.ac.uk.
  • 10The NIHR Leicester-Loughborough Diet, Lifestyle and Physical Activity Biomedical Research Unit, Leicester-Loughborough, Leicestershire, UK. ty20@leicester.ac.uk.
  • 11Leicester Diabetes Centre, Leicester General Hospital, University of Leicester, Leicester, Leicestershire, UK. ty20@leicester.ac.uk.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Sedentary behavior is defined as any waking behavior characterized by an energy expenditure of 1.5 METS or less while in a sitting or reclining posture. This study examines this definition by assessing the energy cost (METs) of common sitting, standing and walking tasks.

METHODS:

Fifty one adults spent 10 min during each activity in a variety of sitting tasks (watching TV, Playing on the Wii, Playing on the PlayStation Portable (PSP) and typing) and non-sedentary tasks (standing still, walking at 0.2, 0.4, 0.6, 0.8, 1.0, 1.2, 1.4, and 1.6 mph). Activities were completed on the same day in a random order following an assessment of resting metabolic rate (RMR). A portable gas analyzer was used to measure oxygen uptake, and data were converted to units of energy expenditure (METs).

RESULTS:

Average of standardized MET values for screen-based sitting tasks were: 1.33 (SD: 0.24) METS (TV), 1.41 (SD: 0.28) (PSP), and 1.45 (SD: 0.32) (Typing). The more active, yet still seated, games on the Wii yielded an average of 2.06 (SD: 0.5) METS. Standing still yielded an average of 1.59 (SD: 0.37) METs. Walking MET values increased incrementally with speed from 2.17 to 2.99 (SD: 0.5 - 0.69) METs.

CONCLUSIONS:

The suggested 1.5 MET threshold for sedentary behaviors seems reasonable however some sitting based activities may be classified as non-sedentary. The effect of this on the definition of sedentary behavior and associations with metabolic health needs further investigation.

PMID:
26021449
PMCID:
PMC4448542
DOI:
10.1186/s12889-015-1851-x
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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