Table 1

Examples of types of physical activities resulting in different categories of metabolic equivalent tasks (METs)

MET categories≤1.0 to ≤1.5<1.5 to <3.0≤3.0 to <6≤6
Physical activity categoriesSedentary+standingLight-intensity physical activityModerate-intensity physical activityVigorous physical activity
Examples of physical activitiesLying, sitting and stationary standingSlow walking (<4 km/h)Moderate and fast walking (4–7 km/h)Very fast walking (>7 km/h)
Sitting quietly (eg, watching television and car driving) and standing (eg, during computer work)Sitting tasks with moderate effort (eg, operating heavy machinery) and standing with minor effort (eg, active workstation)Bicycling or walking for transportation and most manual labour (eg, garbage collecting, carpentry, bricklaying or masonry)Running, swimming, bicycling for exercise, carrying heavy loads or moderate loads up a flight of stairs
  • This one-dimensional MET-based categorisation has been the general framework for the physical activity recommendations.