More and more people are paying attention to their health and physical activity. To understand and control their lifestyle and diet, many people use various indicators and calculation formulas. Probably everyone has already heard about BMI, which, by the way, deserves a separate article.
Today, however, we will focus on three lesser-known metrics, CPM, PAL, and BMR.
What is the CPM index?
From the English "calories per minute", it determines the number of calories burned by the body in one minute during a given physical activity. The CPM value varies depending on the type and intensity of activity. This is an important tool when planning workouts and evaluating the effectiveness of various exercises. CPM values vary depending on the type of activity and its intensity. High-intensity exercises will have a higher CPM than lower-intensity exercises. For example, intense interval training, sprints, jumping rope, or running stairs will have a higher CPM than walking or yoga.
With CPM, we can choose activities that are more effective at burning calories, which can contribute to weight loss, maintaining a healthy body weight, or improving physical fitness. However, it is worth remembering that the calories burned during physical activity are one of the elements of the overall energy balance, which also depends on our diet and daily lifestyle.
How much does CPM cost for various activities?
Examples of CPM for different types of activities:
- Walking distance: about 4-6 CPM
- Running time: about 10-12 CPM
- Cycling: about 8-10 CPM
- Swimming: about 8-10 CPM
- Strength training: about 6-8 CPM
Example of CPM calculation
Total metabolic rate is the sum of basal metabolism and superbasic metabolism, i.e. BMR + metabolism during physical activity. For example, a 30-year-old man with a height of 175 cm and a body weight of 80 kg who works in a typical office job without physical exertion:
𝐶𝑃𝑀 = BMR + BMR * 1,4
𝐶𝑃𝑀 = 972,72 + 972,72 * 1,4
𝐶𝑃𝑀 = 2333,83
You can find out your CPM scores using our CPM calculator. A large number of CPM calculators are available online, and in fact, using different ones on the same dataset, you can achieve results that range from 100 to 200 calories. Please note that these are approximate CPM values.
What is the PAL coefficient?
Level of physical activity (Physical Activity Level) – from the English "level of physical activity"" It determines a person's level of physical activity. This is the ratio of the total amount of energy consumed during physical activity to basal metabolic rate (BMR) – the number of calories burned by the body at rest.
The PAL coefficient allows us to determine how many times the BMR we need to multiply to get the total energy requirements for the day, taking into account our physical activity.
Formula for calculating BMR
BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) is calculated using mathematical formulas. There are several methods developed at different times by different researchers. The American Dietetic Association has accepted the Mifflin-St. George method as more appropriate for modern humans and their metabolism than the Harris-Benedict method. It is based on weight, age, and height.
Calculation of the basic caloric requirement (BMR) by the Mifflin-St. Jor method:
Men :[ 9.99 X body weight (kg)] +[6.25 x height (cm)]- [4.92 x Age (years)] + 5
Women :[ 9.99 X body weight (kg)] + [6.25 x height (cm)]- [4.92 x Age (years)] - 161
How to calculate the PAL coefficient?
The Physical Activity Coefficient (PAL) takes certain values depending on the level of physical activity.
- Very low physical activity (sedentary lifestyle, sedentary work) - PAL
- Low physical activity (light activity, sedentary work with little movement)-PAL 1.4-1.6
- Moderate physical activity(moderate activity, e.g. light physical work, walking) - PAL 1.6-1.9
- High physical activity (high activity, such as physical work, regular exercise) - PAL 1.9-2.5
- Very high physical activity (very intense activity, for example, professional athletes – - PAL > 2.5 The PAL value is indicative and may vary depending on the activity during different periods of life. It is set independently, based on the available scales and our own observations.
Table with values of the physical activity coefficient (PAL)
The values of the PAL coefficient depending on the level of physical activity of a person are presented in the following 2 tables (the classification in them is slightly different). Here is the first table showing the PAL values (translated from Black et al. (1996) and Shetty (2005)):
|Lifestyle and activity level||PAL ratio|
|Lying down||PAL 1.2|
|Sedentary work without the ability to move and|
there is little or no strenuous activity in
|Sedentary work with a requirement|
traffic, but practically no traffic at all
strenuous recreational activity
|Full-time job (for example, housework, salesman in|
of the store)
A significant amount of sports or strenuous activity in the
(30-60 minutes 4-5 times a week)
|Hard work or very active recreation||PAL 2.0-2.4|
and the second table with the values of the PAL coefficient depending on the level of physical activity:
|Physical activity level||PAL ratio|
|Very low physical activity (sedentary lifestyle, sedentary work)||PAL<1.4|
|Low physical activity (light activity, sedentary work with little movement)||PAL 1.4-1.6|
|Moderate physical activity (moderate activity, such as light physical work, walking)||PAL 1.6-1.9|
|High physical activity (high activity, for example, physical work, regular training)||PAL 1.9-2.5|
|Very high physical activity (very intense activity, for example, professional athletes)||PAL > 2.5|
The PAL value is indicative and may vary depending on activity during different periods of life. It is set independently, based on the available scales and our own observations.
What about the BMR index?
BMR stands for basal metabolic rate, which, based on the book "Human Physiology" edited by Jan Gorski, can be described as the resting metabolic rate and thermal comfort approximately 12-14 hours after the last meal. This value decreases by about 10% during sleep. The unit of BMR is the kilocalories (kcal).
Formulas for calculating the BMR index
In the "practical guide to nutrition" (2010), the author provides a table of formulas for calculating BMR, but the basal metabolic rate can be roughly calculated using the formula of Haris and Benedict:
𝑃𝑃𝑀 = 66,47 + 13,75 * 𝑚𝑎𝑠𝑎 𝑐𝑖𝑎L𝑎 [𝑘𝑔] + 5 * 𝑤𝑧𝑟𝑜𝑠𝑡 [𝑐𝑚] − 6,75 * 𝑤𝑖𝑒𝑘 [𝑙𝑎𝑡𝑎]
𝑃𝑃𝑀 = 665,09 + 9,56 * 𝑚𝑎𝑠𝑎 𝑐𝑖𝑎L𝑎 [𝑘𝑔] + 1,85 * 𝑤𝑧𝑟𝑜𝑠𝑡 [𝑐𝑚] − 4,67 * 𝑤𝑖𝑒𝑘 [𝑙𝑎𝑡𝑎]
Another commonly used method is the Mifflin method:
For women, the BMR value is calculated using the formula:
BMR = (9.99 x weight in kilograms) + (6.25 x height in centimeters) - (4.92 x number of years) - 161
In turn, for men, the formula for BMR takes the form:
BMR = (9.99 x weight in kilograms) + (6.25 x height in centimeters) - (4.92 x number of years) + 5
Black AE, Coward WA, Cole TJ, Prentice AM. Human energy expenditure in affluent societies: analysis of 574 doubly-labelled water measurements. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1996; 50: 72–92
Shetty P. Energy requirements of adults. Public Health Nutr. 2005 Oct; 8(7A): 994-1009. doi:10.1079/phn2005792. PMID: 16277816.
Human Physiology edited by Professor Jan Gorski, MD, 2010, PZWL Medical Publishing House, Warsaw
Practical Guide to Dietetics edited by Professor Miroslav Jarosz, MD, 2010, Institute of Nutrition and Nutrition, Warsaw