NCCOR launches Youth Compendium of Physical Activities

The National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR) has launched the Youth Compendium of Physical Activities to help childhood obesity and physical activity researchers and practitioners estimate the associated energy expenditure of a variety of activities in which youth participate. The Youth Compendium of Physical Activities provides measures of energy expenditure for 196 common youth activities including sedentary activities, standing activities, playing and participating in games, and walking and running.

The Youth Compendium is the culmination of a 5-year effort between NCCOR, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, and experts in the field of youth energy expenditure. The Youth Compendium represents the first in the field based entirely on youth data. Previous versions relied on energy cost of various physical activities in adults which were standardized into values for children. However, the energy costs of physical activity change as children grow and mature, making adult values inappropriate for youth.

The Youth Compendium of Physical Activities is designed for researchers, health care professionals, teachers, coaches, and fitness professionals alike. It can be used as a valuable resource for expressing energy expenditure by a variety of sectors including research, public health policy making, education, and programs which encourage physical activity in youth. The Youth Compendium is easy to search so users can find an activity of interest. Additionally, all the data files are available for download. The companion paper, with a complete description of methods and data sources, has been published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

“The Youth Compendium of Physical Activities is an invaluable resource for researchers and practitioners who want to assign metabolic equivalent (MET) values to activities performed by children and adolescents,” said Dr. Barbara Ainsworth, Associate Director and Professor, School of Nutrition and Health Promotion, Arizona State University. “The youth METs arise from laboratory tests of the energy cost of physical activities in four age groups. This increases the precision in identifying physical activity intensities in youth over previous reliance on adult METs.”

Learn more! Members of the Youth Energy Expenditure working group will be presenting on October 31, at The Obesity Society Annual Meeting held at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, National Harbor, MD. NCCOR will also host a webinar on Wednesday, December 6, at 3:00 p.m. ET to provide an overview of the Youth Compendium of Physical Activities.

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