Health & Beauty

Exercise and Health: How Do You Measure Exercise Intensity?

I ntensity And Measurement Of Physical Activity 

Physical activity is a behavior that can be characterized by a frequency, intensity, duration, and type of practice that defines the amount of physical activity in a space-time (day, week, etc.).


MET: The intensity of physical activity is most often expressed in MET (metabolic equivalent of task), defined as the ratio of the energy expenditure linked to physical activity over the basal metabolism. 1 MET corresponds to the level of energy expenditure at rest, sitting on a chair (3.5ml02/min/kg).

Activities greater than 2 METs are considered physical activities. 

  • Greater than or equal to 1.6 and less than 3 METs: low-intensity activity
    • no shortness of breath
    • no sweating
    • the effort felt on a scale of 0 to 10: 3 to 4.
  • Greater than or equal to 3 and less than 6 METs: activity of moderate intensity. It is reflected on the physical level by:
    • moderate shortness of breath, conversation possible
    • moderate sweating
    • the effort felt on a scale of 0 to 10: 5 to 6
    • 55 to 70% of HR max
  • Greater than or equal to 6 and less than 9 METs: high-intensity activity: It results in:
    • marked shortness of breath, difficulty in conversation
    • profuse sweating
    • the effort felt on a scale of 0 to 10: 7 to 8
    • 70 to 90% of HR max
  • Greater than or equal to 9 METs: very high-intensity activity
    • very severe shortness of breath
    • impossible to engage in conversation
    • profuse sweating
    • the effort felt on a scale of 0 to 10:> 8

Measurement of Physical Activity

Jogging Man Wearing Blue Shirt during Daytime

Declarative Methods

The declarative methods are based on the participation of the subject who reports their activity in real-time, by means of a diary or questionnaires.

Objective Methods

  • Heart rate recording:

This method is based on the assumption that there is a close linear relationship between heart rate and energy expenditure for physical activities of increasing intensity. However, there are variations depending on the subject's heart capacity, physical condition, gender, and type of activity.

  • The pedometer:

A small device designed to count the number of steps, the pedometer also calculates the distance traveled and the associated energy expenditure. It can be worn on the waist, on the belt, or with an elastic band, on the wrist, on the ankle, in the shoe, or in the pocket. The pedometer is a simple and inexpensive means of monitoring the daily physical activity of an individual through his walking activity, expressed in the number of steps per day.

Heart rate measurement is the most common method used to assess intensity in everyday life or to define the level of exercise in any physical training.

Low, medium, and high exercise intensity levels, measured by heart rate, are defined as follows:

  • Low (or light) is around 40 to 54% FCM.
  • Average is 55-69% FCM.
  • High (or vigorous) is equal to or greater than 70% FCM

The maximum heart rate of a person can be estimated using this formula: 220 - age in years = HRM. The pulse rate can be monitored as the exercise is performed and the % HRM is calculated to assess the intensity.

For example, the estimated heart rate of a 50-year-old would be 220 - 50, or 170. Let's say that a person's heart rate is 100 beats per minute while they engage in some activity. Since 100 is approximately 59% of HRM (170), the level for this exercise will be rated medium. 

TEP Intensity Level Physical Indices

Light and easy: Does not make you sweat unless it is hot and humid. In such a case, there is no change in breathing. 

Moderate:  Rather difficult Sweating after about 10 minutes of activity. Breathing becomes deeper and more frequent. It is possible to have a conversation, but not to sing.

High: Hard Sweating after 3 to 5 minutes. The breathing is deep and rapid. We can only speak in short sentences.

Any activity, regardless of the level of intensity (light, medium, or high), that uses energy and is therefore helpful in losing weight. The weight loss is directly proportional to the level of intensity in your exercise and the time you spend while exercising. These are the things you need to remember and implement while exercising to lose weight. I hope this helps you understand how you can measure exercise intensity. 

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