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The metabolic equivalent (MET) is a concept that is very commonly used by health professionals to express levels of intensity of exercise, and it is applied often due to its ease of use. A MET is equal to the resting metabolic rate (RMR), defined as oxygen consumption (ml/min) per body weight (kg), and intensity of exercise is expressed in multiples of this. The predicated value of a MET is equal to 3.5 ml oxygen per kilogram of body weight per minute. This value was determined from obtaining the RMR through resting oxygen consumption of one male, 40 years old, weighing 70kg. Due to the widespread use of the MET concept, Byrne studied the RMR of 671 subjects. These subjects varied by gender, weight (35-186 kg), and in age (18-74 years old). The goal of this study was to observe the validity of the 3.5 ml/kg/min value of a MET. The results of the study by Byrne showed that the RMR, or MET value was actually 2.6 ml/kg/min. This study will examine the RMR via open circuit spirometry (oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production) of 10 men ranging in age from 18-25. Five of these me will be cross country runners with a BMI in the normal range (18.5-24.9), and five of these men will be football players with a BMI in the obese class I range (30.0-34.9) with these ranges provided by the ACSM. This study will compare the RMR rates to the accepted 3.5 ml/kg/min, and the 2.6 ml/kg/min value established by Byrne. This study will also include values of resting oxygen consumption compared with body weight, the amount of fat mass, fat free mass, and BMI.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Honors Thesis

Primary Advisor

Lloyd L. Laubach

Primary Advisor's Department

Health and Sport Science


Stander Symposium poster

Metabolic Equivalents of College-Aged Male Athletes