Energy expenditure by heart rate in children: an evaluation of calibration techniques

MBE Livingstone, PJ Robson, M Toton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To evaluate the impact of applying seven calibration equations (CE) in the estimation of free-living total energy expenditure (TEE) over 2-3 d in seven boys (mean +/- SD age 9.4 +/- 0.4 yr) by the Flex heart rate (HR) method. Methods: HR and oxygen consumption were measured simultaneously for eight activities (lying, sitting, standing, arm-reaching exercise, a stooping-and-twisting exercise: stepping, treadmill walking/running, and cycle ergometry) carried out in sequence. CE were derived from various combinations of activities. Flex HRs were identified for each CE. Results: There were no significant differences in TEE estimates [range (mean +/- SD); 6.65 +/- 0.72 to 7.27 +/- 0.89 MJ.d(-1)] derived from any of the CE. Mean daytime HR ranged from 86 +/- 4 to 122 +/- 15 beats min(-1), and 82-98% of recorded daytime HR was less than or equal to 140 beats.min(-1). As a result, within-subject CV in TEE from each of the CE ranged from 2.2% to 8.9%. Mean between-subject Flex HR ranged from 94 +/- 8 to 111 +/- 8 beats min(-1). No significant differences were observed in corresponding TEE estimates. However, mean activity energy expenditure (AEE) ranged from 2.10 +/- 1.18 MJ.d(-1) (based on Flex HR 111 +/- 8 beats.min(-1)) to 3.55 +/- 1.44 MJ.d(-1) (based on Flex HR 94 +/- 8 beats.min(-1); NS). The corresponding estimates of resting energy expenditure (REE) were 1.89 +/- 0.82 MJ.d(-1) (Flex HR 111 +/- 8 beats.min(-1)) and 1.05 +/- 0.60 MJ.d(-1) (Flex HR 94 +/- 8 beats.min(-1)). Only the differences between the minimum and maximum estimates of REE were significant (P < 0.05. Conclusions: Unduly lengthy and complex calibration procedures for the estimation of Flex HR TEE may not be justified in most cases, particularly in sedentary children.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1513-1519
JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - Aug 2000


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