Using Metabolic Equivalents in Clinical Practice.

Barry A Franklin, William Beaumont Hospital


Metabolic equivalents, or METs, are routinely employed as a guide to exercise training and activity prescription and to categorize cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF). There are, however, inherent limitations to the concept, as well as common misapplications. CRF and the patient's capacity for physical activity are often overestimated and underestimated, respectively. Moreover, frequently cited fitness thresholds associated with the highest and lowest mortality rates may be misleading, as these are influenced by several factors, including age and gender. The conventional assumption that 1 MET = 3.5 mL O