The Compendium of Physical Activities
The Compendium of Physical Activities was developed for use in epidemiologic
studies to standardize the assignment of MET intensities in physical
activity questionnaires. Dr. Bill Haskell from Stanford University
conceptualized the Compendium and developed a prototype for the
document. The Compendium was used first in the Survey of Activity,
Fitness, and Exercise (SAFE study - 1987 to 1989) to code and score
physical activity records. Since then, the Compendium has been used
in studies worldwide to assign intensity units to physical activity
questionnaires and to develop innovative ways to assess energy expenditure
in physical activity studies. Version 1 of the Compendium was published
in 1993. An updated version was published in 2000. References for
the publications are below.
Definition of Terms used in the Compendium
MET (Metabolic Equivalent): The ratio of the work metabolic
rate to the resting metabolic rate. One MET is defined as 1 kcal/kg/hour
and is roughly equivalent to the energy cost of sitting quietly.
A MET also is defined as oxygen uptake in ml/kg/min with one MET
equal to the oxygen cost of sitting quietly, equivalent to 3.5 ml/kg/min.
5-Digit Code: Compendium activities are classified by a 5-digit
code that identifies the category (heading) as the first 2 digits
and type (description) of activity as the last three digits. Example:
||01 - bicycling
||010 - Bicycling, < 10 mph, leisure,
to work or for pleasure (Taylor Code 115)
To view activity categories and associated MET values, click on the following Compendium of Physical Activites website and select 'Activity Categories' at the top of the page.
When using the Compendium to estimate the energy cost of activities,
investigators should remind participants to recall only the time
spent in movement. The Compendium was not developed to determine
the precise energy cost of physical activity within individuals,
but rather to provide a classification system that standardizes
the MET intensities of physical activities used in survey research.
The values in the Compendium do not estimate the energy cost of
physical activity in individuals in ways that account for differences
in body mass, adiposity, age, sex, efficiency of movement, geographic
and environmental conditions in which the activities are performed.
Thus, individual differences in energy expenditure for the same
activity can be large and the true energy cost for an individual
may or may not be close to the stated mean MET level as presented
in the Compendium.
Using the Compendium
Researchers may download the compendium for use in their research.
Users do not have permission to extract parts of it to use in their
diet and exercise commercial products, free products, or any other
use without the author's permission as well as permission of Lippencott,
Williams, and Wilkins, who hold the copyright on the published the
Compendium in MSSE. Teachers may use the compendium or portions thereof
for educational purposes with their students. Websites may link to the compendium by linking
to this page: https://sites.google.com/site/compendiumofphysicalactivities/.
Those with questions about use of the Compendium for these or other
purposes should e-mail Barbara Ainsworth at Barbara.Ainsworth@asu.edu.
Ainsworth BE, Haskell WL, Herrmann SD, Meckes N, Bassett Jr DR, Tudor-Locke C, Greer JL, Vezina J, Whitt- Glover MC, Leon AS. 2011 Compendium of Physical Activities: a second update of codes and MET values. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.(in press).
Ainsworth BE, Haskell WL, Herrmann SD, Meckes N, Bassett Jr DR, Tudor-Locke C, Greer JL, Vezina J, Whitt-Glover MC, Leon AS. The Compendium of Physical Activities Tracking Guide. Healthy Lifestyles Research Center, College of Nursing & Health Innovation, Arizona State University. Retrieved [date] from the World Wide Web.
Past Compendium References:
Ainsworth BE, Haskell WL, Whitt MC, Irwin ML, Swartz AM, Strath
SJ, O'Brien WL, Bassett DR Jr, Schmitz KH, Emplaincourt PO, Jacobs
DR Jr, Leon AS. Compendium of Physical Activities: An update of
activity codes and MET intensities. Medicine and Science in Sports
and Exercise, 2000;32 (Suppl):S498-S516.
Ainsworth BE, Haskell WL, Leon AS, Jacobs DR Jr, Montoye HJ, Sallis
JF, Paffenbarger RS Jr. Compendium of physical activities: Classification
of energy costs of human physical activities. Medicine and Science
in Sports and Exercise, 1993; 25:71-80.