Measurement of energy expenditure of daily tasks among mothers of young children

Brown, W., Ringuet, C., Trost, S.G., & Jenkins, D. (2001) Measurement of energy expenditure of daily tasks among mothers of young children. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 4(4), pp. 379-385.

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There is currently some debate about whether the energy expenditure of domestic tasks is sufficient to confer health benefits. The aim of this study was therefore to measure the energy cost of five activities commonly undertaken by mothers of young children. Seven women with at least one child younger than five years of age spent 15 minutes in each of the following activities: sitting quietly, vacuum cleaning, washing windows, walking at moderate pace (approx 5km/hour), walking with a stroller and grocery shopping in a super-market. Each of the six 'trials' was completed on the same day, in random order. A carefully calibrated portable gas analyser was used to measure oxygen uptake during each activity, and data were converted to units of energy expenditure (METS). Vacuum cleaning, washing windows and walking with and without a stroller were found to be 'moderate intensity activities' (3 to 6 METs), but supermarket shopping did not reach this criterion. The MET values for these activities were similar to those reported in the Compendium of Physical Activities (Ainsworth et al., 2000). However, the energy expenditures of walking, both with and without a stroller, were higher than those reported in the Compendium. The findings suggest that some of the tasks associated with domestic caring duties are conducted at an intensity which is sufficient to confer some health benefit. Such benefits will only accrue however if the daily duration of these activities is sufficient to meet current guidelines.

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14 citations in Scopus
13 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 71858
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: ISI Document Delivery No.: 517TC
Times Cited: 11
Cited Reference Count: 14
Brown, W Ringuet, C Trost, SG Jenkins, D
Sports medicine australia
Dickson; <Go to ISI>://WOS:000173625100002
Keywords: physical-activity
DOI: 10.1016/s1440-2440(01)80047-5
ISSN: 1440-2440
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Deposited On: 21 May 2014 03:18
Last Modified: 21 May 2014 03:18

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