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Resting metabolic rate (RMR) measures the energy a person requires to sustain vital body function while at rest. RMR is the most considerable element of total daily energy expenditure (McArdle et al., 2015). RMR varies depending on gender, age, weight, fat-free body mass (FFM), and physical fitness level (McMurray et al., 2014). During this study, RMR was measured indirectly by measuring the volume of oxygen consumption (VO2), the volume of carbon dioxide production (VCO2) (McMurray et al., 2014). The proper protocol for measuring RMR was to have the subject complete an overnight fast and refrain from working 12-18 hours before the test (McArdle et al., 2015). This protocol ensures an accurate RMR measurement because recent food intake and recently active skeletal muscle can cause an increase in RMR (Speakman & Selman, 2003). However, this study deviated from this protocol to examine the impact of eating and exercising on the measured RMR value compared to the value from an estimation equation, for each subject. The Cunningham equation and the Harris-Benedict equation were used for the prediction values. The drive to understand the physiological changes that occur when one has recently eaten and participated in physically activity, inspired the idea to see how big an impact those aspects had on RMR. Often known as the “rest and digest” stage, the parasympathetic nervous system would normally be in a total resting stage for the RMR test. However, in this lab, the subjects were currently “digesting”, and their skeletal muscle is recovering, causing the subjects to not truly be in a resting state to test RMR. The purpose of this study was to compare subjects measured resting metabolic rate (RMR) results, after breaking standard preparation protocol, to the equation based estimated kcal/day values. The hypothesis of this lab is that the measured RMR level of each subject, both male and female, would have a significant increase of the RMR value when compared to the predicted RMR. Between both the Cunningham prediction equation and the Harris-Benedict equation, it was expected that during the test subjects measured RMR would show a significant increase from the estimation equation.

Publication Date

Spring 2022


Boiling Springs, NC


Medicine and Health Sciences | Movement and Mind-Body Therapies | Rehabilitation and Therapy | Sports Sciences

The Effects of Food Intake & Physical Activity on Resting Metabolic Rate