Benefits of Lifestyle Physical Activity
In a recent study at the Cooper Institute (Dallas, TX), researchers found that common lifestyle physical activities are as vigorous as brisk walking (4-5 METS)
MET Values of Lifestyle Activity
Shoveling = 4.69 Sweeping = 3.98
Raking = 3.93 Vacumming = 4.03
Mowing = 5.98 Stacking = 4.07
Moderate intensity lifestyle physical activities can contribute to a person’s daily activity pattern. (see Concept 7 for more details)
Researchers measured the energy costs of gardening activities using portable metabolic equipment that participants wore as a “backpack” during the activities.
Many people report that they don’t have enough time to be active. Others have good intentions to be active, but find that many work and family responsibilities make it difficult to stay active. Many public health officials and researchers now recommend “lifestyle” physical activity as a way to stay physically active. In a study conducted at the Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research (Welk et al.) the metabolic value of a variety of “lifestyle” activities was assessed through the use of a portable metabolic measurement system. The MET values for these common lifestyle activities were calculated to be as high as the energy expenditure of brisk walking. If pursued on a regular basis, these common lifestyle tasks can be a great way to add some physical activity to a person’s routine. While additional physical activity on a more systematic basis is desirable, some lifestyle physical activity is better than no physical activity at all. Concept 7 explores lifestyle physical activity in more detail.
Source: Welk et al (1999). A comparison of measures for the assessment of lifestyle physical activity. American College of Sports Medicine annual meeting.