MET stands for Metabolic Equivalent of Task or simply Metabolic Equivalents.
METs allow us to more accurately determine calorie burn for specific activities.
According to the Compendium of Physical Activities, an activity with a MET of 1 burns 1 kilocalorie per kilogram per hour. An example of this would be when you’re lying in bed, not talking, and just mindlessly watching television.
- Sleeping has a MET of 0.95 and burns even fewer calories while sitting and doing light office tasks or simply eating a meal has a MET of 1.5.
- Most construction and general carpentry work have a MET of 4 while carrying heavy loads and digging ditches has a higher MET of 8.
- Some light jogging combined with walking has a MET of 6 while running at a very quick pace or a five-minute mile can have a MET value as high as 19.
From these examples, we can immediately see how calculating calorie burn and energy expenditure using METs is significantly more accurate compared to just using a TDEE multiplier which just classifies different activities in a very broad manner.
To calculate calorie burn using METs, use this formula: