The physical activity level (PAL) is a way to express a person's daily physical activity as a number, and is used to estimate a person's total energy expenditure. In combination with the basal metabolic rate, it can be used to compute the amount of food energy a person needs to consume in order to maintain a particular lifestyle.
The physical activity level is defined for a non-pregnant, non-lactating adult as that person's total energy expenditure (TEE) in a 24-hour period, divided by his or her basal metabolic rate (BMR):
The physical activity level can also be estimated based on a list of the (physical) activities a person performs from day to day. Each activity is connected to a number, the physical activity ratio. The physical activity level is then the time-weighted average of the physical activity ratios.
The following table shows indicative numbers for the Physical activity level for several lifestyles:
|Extremely inactive||Cerebral palsy patient||<1.40|
|Sedentary||Office worker getting little or no exercise||1.40-1.69|
|Moderately active||Construction worker or person running one hour daily||1.70-1.99|
|Vigorously active||Agricultural worker (non mechanized) or person swimming two hours daily||2.00-2.40|
|Extremely active||Competitive cyclist||>2.40|
- "Total energy expenditure (TEE) and physical activity levels (PAL) in adults: doubly-labelled water data". Energy and Protein requirements, Proceedings of an IDECG workshop. United Nations University. 1994-11-04. Retrieved 2009-10-15.
- "Human energy requirements: Principles and Definitions". Report of a Joint FAO/WHO/UNU Expert Consultation. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. 2004. Retrieved 2009-10-15.
- "Human energy requirements: Energy Requirement of Adults". Report of a Joint FAO/WHO/UNU Expert Consultation. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. 2004.