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  1. Search the Youth Compendium to view the smoothed data for all activities or activities within a specific category.
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The Youth Compendium of Physical Activities provides a list of 196 common activities in which youth participate and the estimated energy cost associated with each activity. It can be used by a wide variety of people—including researchers, health care professionals, teachers and coaches, and fitness professionals—and in a variety of ways—including research, public health policy making, education, and interventions to encourage physical activity in youth.

The Youth Compendium provides energy cost values for:

  • Sedentary activities, such as lying down or watching TV
  • Standing, doing household chores, and playing active video games
  • Playing and participating in games and sports activities
  • Walking and running

The youth MET (METy) values in the Youth Compendium were derived from literature reviews, data analysis, and imputation (Butte et al., 2017).

What is a youth MET?

A MET, or metabolic equivalent, is a unit that represents the metabolic cost of physical activity. METy is a MET that has been adjusted to account for the unique physiological characteristics of children and adolescents. A METy is the ratio of an activity-specific metabolic rate to the estimated basal metabolic rate (BMR, or the energy the body needs to function while at rest). For example, playing "volleyball" for 6-9 year olds has a METy value of 5.0. This means that, for a child this age, playing volleyball has an energy cost about 5 times higher than BMR.

Preferred Citations

Butte NF, Watson KB, Ridley K, et al. A youth compendium of physical activities: activity codes and metabolic intensities. 2017; doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000001430. Epub 2017 Sep 21.
NCCOR. Youth Compendium of Physical Activity. Washington, DC: NCCOR; 2017. Available from: