# What Is a Good METs Level?

Reviewed on 3/5/2021

### METs Level

Regular physical activity and a healthy diet are necessary to stay fit and healthy.

Regular physical activity and a healthy diet are necessary to stay fit and healthy. A balance of the calorie expenditure and calories consumed is essential for staying healthy. There are several ways to calculate the energy expenditure or calories burnt during different activities, metabolic equivalent of task (MET) unit being one such measure. METs tell us about the oxygen utilized by the body. Our body utilizes oxygen for cellular respiration, which is a process to generate energy. Thus, METs give an indication of energy expenditure in the body.

One MET is defined as the energy expenditure per minute for sitting quietly. This is approximately 3.5 mL of oxygen uptake per kilogram of body weight per minute (1.2 kcal/min for a 154-lbs adult). Thus, a 3-MET activity requires three times the energy expenditure of sitting quietly. This means that your METs increase with an increase in activity. This is a great way to know the intensity and hence the effectiveness of an exercise regimen. By knowing the METs for different physical activities, you can find out how many calories you need to consume for managing your weight based on your activity level. As METs are measured per unit of body weight, they can be used for people whose weights are different and without any need for complicated calculations. Calories burnt, however, differ with the weight of the individual even for the same kind of activity done for the same duration. Thus, if two individuals, one weighing 160 lbs and another weighing 200 lbs, walk at the same speed for 30 minutes, the one weighing more will burn more calories than the one weighing less.

• Sedentary activities: Use 1.5 or fewer METs. For example, lying down, sitting, or reclining
• Light-intensity activities: Use from 1.6 to 3.0 METs. For example, walking at a leisurely pace or standing in line at the billing counter.
• Moderate-intensity activities: Use from 3.0 to 6.0 METs. For example, brisk walking (2.5-4.2 mph), bicycling (5-9 mph), or ballroom dancing
• Vigorous-intensity activities: Use from 6.0+ METs. For example, circuit weight training, most competitive sports, or aerobics dancing

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References
https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/met-hour-equivalents-of-various-physical-activities

https://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/physical/pdf/pa_intensity_table_2_1.pdf