A youth compendium of physical activities: Activity codes and metabolic intensities

Nancy F. Butte, Kathleen B. Watson, Kate Ridley, Issa F. Zakeri, Robert G. McMurray, Karin A. Pfeiffer, Scott E. Crouter, Stephen D. Herrmann, David R. Bassett, Alexander Long, Zekarias Berhane, Stewart G. Trost, Barbara Ainsworth, David Berrigan, Janet E. Fulton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

180 Scopus citations


Purpose: A Youth Compendium of Physical Activities (Youth Compendium) was developed to estimate the energy costs of physical activities using data on youth only. Methods: On the basis of a literature search and pooled data of energy expenditure measurements in youth, the energy costs of 196 activities were compiled in 16 activity categories to form a Youth Compendium of Physical Activities. To estimate the intensity of each activity, measured oxygen consumption (V O2) was divided by basal metabolic rate (Schofield age-, sex-, and mass-specific equations) to produce a youth MET (METy). A mixed linear model was developed for each activity category to impute missing values for age ranges with no observations for a specific activity. Results: This Youth Compendium consists of METy values for 196 specific activities classified into 16 major categories for four age-groups, 6-9, 10-12, 13-15, and 16-18 yr. METy values in this Youth Compendium were measured (51%) or imputed (49%) from youth data. Conclusion: This Youth Compendium of Physical Activities uses pediatric data exclusively, addresses the age dependency of METy, and imputes missing METy values and thus represents advancement in physical activity research and practice. This Youth Compendium will be a valuable resource for stakeholders interested in evaluating interventions, programs, and policies designed to assess and encourage physical activity in youth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)246-256
Number of pages11
JournalMedicine and science in sports and exercise
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2018


  • Children
  • Energy cost
  • Light activity
  • METs
  • Moderate activity
  • Physical activity
  • Sedentary activity
  • Vigorous activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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