The Influence of Exercise on the Energy Requirements of Adult Males in the UK

P Haggarty, G McNeill, M K Manneh, L Davidson, E Milne, G. Duncan, J Ashton

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Energy expenditure was measured over 10 d using the doubly-labelled water (DLW) and activity diary methods in summer and winter in subjects with 'light' occupations bat leisure activities which ranged from 'non-active' to 'very active', The basal metabolic rate (BMR) and the energy cost of activities were determined by indirect calorimetry. The Department of Health (1991) predicted BMR for the group (6.89 (SD 0.30) MJ/d; n 18) was not significantly different from the measured value (7.17 (SD 0.70) MJ/d; n 18). The range of DLW-derived expenditure values within the group was BMR x 1.41 to 2.41. The largest seasonal change within individuals was BMR x 0.5. The energy expenditure of the group as a whole was lower in winter (BMR x 1.88; so 0.33; n 9) than summer (BMR x 2.01; SD 0.30; n 9) though the difference was not statistically significant, The average summer and winter DLW-derived expenditure was BMR x 1.96 (SD 0.31; n 17), The activity diary estimate of expenditure was BMR x 1.79 (so 0.32; n 17), In a subset of the group who were representative of the most active 26% of all adult males in the UK, the DLW-derived expenditure was BMR x 2.08(so 0.24; n 11), This is higher than the highest Department of Health (1991) estimate of BMR x 1.6 for individuals in light occupations. The measured energy costs of low-intensity activities were similar to those presented in the Department of Health (1991) report but the value determined for running (BMR x 13.08; so 2.4; n 6) was higher than the highest value in the report (BMR x 6 to 8), The results indicate that the recent Department of Health (1991) reference values for energy may underestimate the expenditure of a significant proportion of the UK population largely because the energy costs of activity used in the report to calculate expenditure do not accurately reflect those achieved during active leisure in individuals who take regular exercise.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)799-813
Number of pages15
JournalBritish Journal of Nutrition
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1994


  • energy expenditure
  • exercise
  • doubly-labeled water
  • season
  • postexercise oxygen
  • doubly labeled water
  • expenditure
  • magnitude
  • patterns
  • samples
  • diet


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