International Journal of Exercise Science 6(1) : 11-19, 2013. Little is known about the oxygen cost of caring for infants and older adults. Many people perform these activities so it is useful to know the energy cost and if the activities are of sufficient intensity to contribute to meeting physical activity recommendations. The purpose of this study was to assess the oxygen cost of four care-related activities in the Compendium of Physical Activities. Nineteen participants (n = 10 women, n = 9 men; Age = 36.4 ± 13.6 y; % Fat = 34.1 ± 10.5; BMI = 28.1 ± 4.5 kg/m2) performed four activities: 1) pushing an infant in a stroller, 2) pushing an adult in a wheelchair, 3) carrying an infant, and 4) bathing and dressing an infant. The oxygen cost was assessed using a portable metabolic unit. Activities were performed in random order for 8 minutes. The oxygen cost and heart rates, respectively, for healthy adults during care related activities were 3.09 METs and 90 ± 8 beats per minute (bpm) for pushing an infant in a stroller, 3.69 METs and 97 ± 9 bpm for pushing an adult in a wheelchair, 2.37 METs and 85 ± 9 bpm for carrying an infant, and 2.00 METs and 87 ± 9 bpm for bathing and dressing an infant. Carrying an infant and bathing an infant are light-intensity physical activities and pushing a wheelchair or a stroller are moderate intensity activities. The latter activities are of sufficient intensity to meet health-related physical activity recommendations.
Meckes, Nathanael; Vezina, Jesse W.; Herrmann, Stephen D.; Sawyer, Brandon J.; Angadi, Siddhartha; and Ainsworth, Barbara E.
"Oxygen Cost of Performing Selected Adult and Child Care Activities,"
International Journal of Exercise Science: Vol. 6
, Article 3.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijes/vol6/iss1/3