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A Youth Compendium of Physical Activities: Activity Codes and Metabolic Intensities

Butte Nancy F.; Watson, Kathleen B.; Ridley, Kate; Zakeri, Issa F.; McMurray, Robert G.; Pfeiffer, Karin A.; Crouter, Scott E.; Herrmann, Stephen D.; Bassett, David R.; Long, Alexander; Berhane, Zekarias; Trost, Stewart G.; Ainsworth, Barbara E.; Berrigan, David; Fulton, Janet E.
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: Post Acceptance: September 21, 2017
doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000001430
Original Investigation: PDF Only


A Youth Compendium of Physical Activities (Youth Compendium) was developed to estimate the energy costs of physical activities using data on youth only.


Based on a literature search and pooled data of energy expenditure measurements in youth, the energy costs of 196 activities were compiled in 16 activity categories to form a Youth Compendium of Physical Activities. To estimate the intensity of each activity, measured oxygen consumption (V[Combining Dot Above]O2) was divided by basal metabolic rate (Schofield age-, sex- and mass-specific equations) to produce a youth MET (METy). A mixed linear model was developed for each activity category to impute missing values for age ranges with no observations for a specific activity.


This Youth Compendium consists of METy values for 196 specific activities classified into 16 major categories for four age groups, 6-9, 10-12, 13-15, and 16-18 years. METy values in this Youth Compendium were measured (51%) or imputed (49%) from youth data.


This Youth Compendium of Physical Activities uses pediatric data exclusively, addresses the age-dependency of METy and imputes missing METy values and thus represents advancement in the physical activity research and practice. This Youth Compendium will be a valuable resource for stakeholders interested in evaluating interventions, programs, and policies designed to assess and encourage physical activity in youth.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives License 4.0 (CCBY-NC-ND), where it is permissible to download and share the work provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be changed in any way or used commercially without permission from the journal.

Address all correspondence to: Janet E. Fulton, Ph.D., Chief, Physical Activity and Health Branch, Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, CDC, 4770 Buford Highway, Atlanta, GA 30341, 770-488-5430 (w), 770-826-4733 (c), 770-488-5473 (f);

This project has been funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), Office of Disease Prevention (ODP), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR)—a public-private partnership among NCI, CDC, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This project also has been funded with federal funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)/Agricultural Research Service (ARS) under Cooperative Agreement No. 58-6250-0-008. None of the authors has conflicts or potential conflicts of interest, including relevant financial interests, activities, relationships, and affiliations related to this research. The results of the study are presented clearly, honestly, and without fabrication, falsification, or inappropriate data manipulation. The results of the present study do not constitute endorsement by American College of Sports Medicine. The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The contents of this publication do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the USDA, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

Accepted for Publication: 28 August 2017

© 2017 American College of Sports Medicine