Free-living energy expenditure of adult men assessed by continuous heart-rate monitoring and doubly-labelled water

Linda Davidson, Geraldine McNeill, Paul Haggarty, John S. Smith, Michael F. Franklin

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Free-living energy expenditure was estimated by doubly-labelled water (DLW) and continuous heart-rate (HR) monitoring over nine consecutive days in nine healthy men with sedentary occupations but different levels of leisure-time physical activity. Individual calibrations of the HR-energy expenditure (EE) relationship were obtained for each subject using 30 min average values of HR and EE obtained during 24 h whole-body calorimetry with a defined exercise protocol, and additional data points for individual leisure activities measured with an Oxylog portable O-2 consumption meter. The HR data were processed to remove spurious values and insert missing data before the calculation of EE from second-order polynomial equations relating EE to HR. After data processing, the HR-derived EE for this group of subjects was on average 0.8 (SEM 0.6) MJ/d, or 6.0 (SEM 4.2)% higher than that estimated by DLW. The diary-respirometer method, used over the same 9 d, gave values which were 1.9 (SEM 0.7) MJ/d, or -12.1 (SEM 4.0)% lower than the DLW method. The results suggest that HR monitoring can provide a better estimate of 24 h EE of groups than the diary-respirometer method, but show that both methods can introduce errors of 20% or more in individuals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)695-708
Number of pages14
JournalBritish Journal of Nutrition
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1997


  • energy expenditure
  • doubly-labelled water
  • heart-rate monitoring
  • indirect calorimetry
  • children
  • consumption
  • oxylog
  • women

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