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Can someone please give me a clear definition?

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Can someone-inventor off CC maybe :) please give me an exact definiton of light activity vs moderate actvity?

I am trying hard to eat exactly what my body needs, and the light activity definition is vague to me.



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No, but I can give you this (from

Sedentary = Little or no exercise, desk job
Lightly Active = Light exercise or sports 1-2 days/week
A Little More Active = Exercise or sports 2-4 days/week
Moderately Active = Moderate exercise or sports 4-5 days/week
Very Active = Hard exercise or sports 6-7 days/week
Extra Active = Very hard daily exercise or sports AND physical job or 2X day training

But then if you are up and moving during your day (say you are a teacher or waitress, so you spend a lot of time on your feet) you might be lightly active (or more) before you even add in exercise.

Most people like to see their cc at sedentary and add exercise extra. I recommend that unless you walk around with your job or kids all day.

I exercise for 90 mins every day (sometimes I skip a day), but I go to school and only get a little bit of walking in between classes, and a bit of dancing most nights. Would I be classified as very active?

Original Post by automatikflowers:

I exercise for 90 mins every day (sometimes I skip a day), but I go to school and only get a little bit of walking in between classes, and a bit of dancing most nights. Would I be classified as very active?

I`d go for moderately active and add only the 90 mins of exercise manually.

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I had been trying to obtain a clear definition to this question for some time now. I particularly enjoy when exercise is stated as "100 watts of energy expended"  LOL.

OK-Well, what exactly is "100 watts" of human energy?  Tongue out

I discovered a wealth of information that utilizes the METs as a unit of measurement. As I understand, METs is a great process to determine amount of effort expended based on one's weight, which can then calculate into calories burned.

Hmmmmm - As if!  Laughing

I needed layman's terms. I found a article produced by the The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. This is a key excerpt of what I have found:

The URL is: /appendix1.aspx

The article's title is:
Appendix 1. Translating Scientific Evidence About Total Amount and Intensity of Physical Activity Into Guidelines.

*********BEGIN EXCERPT *********************

Two Methods of Assessing Aerobic Intensity

The intensity of aerobic physical activity can be defined in absolute or relative terms.

(NOTE: I posted "Absolute Intensity" segment as a point of reference and for those that may have interest as to the METs health standard of measurement)

Absolute Intensity
The Advisory Committee concluded that absolute moderate-intensity or vigorous-intensity physical activity is necessary for substantial health benefits, and it defined absolute aerobic intensity in terms of METs:

Light-intensity activities are defined as 1.1 MET to 2.9 METs.
Moderate-intensity activities are defined as 3.0 to 5.9 METs. Walking at 3.0 miles per hour requires 3.3 METs of energy expenditure and is therefore considered a moderate-intensity activity.

Vigorous-intensity activities are defined as 6.0 METs or more. Running at 10 minutes per mile (6.0 mph) is a 10 MET activity and is therefore classified as vigorous intensity.

(NOTE: "Relative Intensity" is where METs is translated into a simpler explanation)

Relative Intensity
Intensity can also be defined relative to fitness, with the intensity expressed in terms of a percent of a person’s (1) maximal heart rate, (2) heart rate reserve, or (3) aerobic capacity reserve. The Advisory Committee regarded relative moderate intensity as 40 to 59 percent of aerobic capacity reserve (where 0 percent of reserve is resting and 100 percent of reserve is maximal effort). Relatively vigorous-intensity activity is 60 to 84 percent of reserve.

To better communicate the concept of relative intensity (or relative level of effort), the Guidelines adopted a simpler definition:

Relatively moderate-intensity activity is a level of effort of 5 or 6 on a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is the level of effort of sitting, and 10 is maximal effort.
Relatively vigorous-intensity activity is a 7 or 8 on this scale. This simplification was endorsed by the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association in their recent guidelines for older adults. This approach does create a minor difference from the Advisory Committee Report definitions, however. A 5 or 6 on a 0 to 10 scale is essentially 45 percent to 64 percent of aerobic capacity reserve for moderate intensity. Similarly, a 7 or 8 on a 0 to 10 scale means 65 percent to 84 percent of reserve is the range for relatively vigorous-intensity activity.

*********END EXCERPT *********************

This is only 20% of the entire entry. The remaining content is also very interesting, although a bit dry Tongue out


Hope this helps.


"Although a bit dry" 

That's hilarious. 

Thank you so much for this excerpt. This gives me something to go on. From this definition it might seem that my exercise level is moderate. However, I would like it if someone else or more than one could concede that they agree or if they disagree to explain because either way I really need to know please! Thank you very much! 

My exercise is daily I sit for most of the day. When I get up I get up and sit down get up and sit down repeatedly whenever I have to do something because I can not stand for very long at all. However, I can walk much longer than I can stand. Therefore I walk 15 minutes, wait an hour or two and walk another 15 minutes. Some days I wait another hour or two and walk another 15 minutes. Some days I do 15 minutes of yoga. I have pilates that I do for 4 minutes about twice a week. I know I need to add calisthenics. But I rarely do and when I do it is between 3 to 6 minutes of it. I have gone up from exercising 15 to 30 minutes 6 days a week to exercising 30 to 50 minutes exercise 6 days a week. It is not difficult exercise. But it is not easy either. I had my setting on sedentary. But when I went up in exercise it seemed to be a problem with hunger. So I went up to light activity. I am still having a problem with hunger.

What do you think?

"My exercise is daily I sit for most of the day."

That doesn't make sense.

Walking 15 minutes every 1 or 2 hours, doing ten minutes of yoga, etc - that sounds closer to sedentary than light activity.

I would not count it as cardio "exercise" unless your heart rate is significantly elevated and you are sweating more than a glow.

So I would enter yourself as sedentary and then as light, average the calorie recommendations for the two, and start there.

If you don't lose weight after a few weeks, eat less or move more.

As for feeling "hungry" - we should all listen to our bodies, but the mind can get in the way. Meaning, "hunger" is sometimes just psychological. If you feel hungry despite eating your planned calories, have some food available that you can eat as much as you want of, but limit it to very low calorie and very bland stuff - raw carrots, raw iceberg lettuce (no dressing), plain rice cakes (no spread), egg whites (no salt, no mayo), etc. if you are genuinely hungry, you'll eat it. If you won't eat it . . . you are not genuinely hungry.
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