The Canadian National Institute of Public Health (INSPQ) is based on the scientific literature to suggest a distinction of exercise intensity values on five levels: (1) low, (2) low, (3) average, (4) and high (5) high. This distinction allows to help professionals and practitioners to characterize the dose of physical activity (type of exercise, frequency, duration and intensity), especially in interventional studies.
The Report Rationale
The concepts of intensity, duration and frequency of physical activity are regularly used in practice and in research. If the frequency (number of weekly session, monthly or yearly) and duration (minutes per session) are readily understood, the concept of intensity may appear blurred. What does she? What unit of measurement used? Should we prefer a physiological indicator as an energy expenditure or a subjective scale of perceived exertion?
Can we have a table between metabolic cost and perception of effort that would harmonize how to quantify the intensity of physical exertion?
The National Institute of Public Health (INSPQ) asked a group of experts on the question. The report was published in 2006 The findings are based on the recommendations of a scientific society, the American College of Sports Medicine and an international conference in 2000 on the dose-response.
The National Institute of Public Health (INSPQ) proposes to harmonize the intensity values of effort based on Aerobic Power Reserve (PER) and the scale of perceived exertion (EPE). Five levels of intensity of physical activity were obtained: very low (PAR 6 METs, PAR = 60-84%, EPE ≥ 15 “difficult”) is beneficial for health. That said, the regularity (and hence frequency) is even higher priority. The report also highlights that daily physical activity goes beyond the practice of a sport or a gym workout. Housework, gardening, physical work, walking (…) must be included in the calculation of the dose of physical activity.
What it means for Researchers
A definition of the intensity of physical activity was proposed by the American College of Sports Medicine in 1998 The definition adopted by the international conference in 2000 on the dose-response (Kasaniemi et al., 2001) aims to standardize qualifiers associated with different levels of intensity. This distinction allows help researchers to quantify the dose of physical activity intervention studies (type of exercise, frequency, duration and intensity).
What it means for Policymakers
Distinguishing effort on five levels (very low, low, medium, high and very high) intensity values to better understand this abstract concept. The definition adopted by an international conference in 2000 on the dose-response standardizes the qualifiers associated with different levels of intensity and help to characterize the dose of physical activity in research as in clinical practice.
Institut National de Santé Publique du Québec (2006). Intensité de pratique d’activité physique. Définitions et commentaires. Montréal : INSPQ.
To reference this Blog en Sante © article.
Ninot G (2014). All physical activities are not equal in health benefit. Blog en Sante, A14.
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