The energy expenditure index: a method to quantitate and compare walking energy expenditure for children and adolescents

J Pediatr Orthop. Sep-Oct 1991;11(5):571-8.


We used heart rate and walking speed to calculate an energy expenditure index (EEI), the ratio of heart rate per meter walked, for 102 normal subjects, age 6-18 years. Heart rate was measured at self-selected slow, comfortable, and fast walking speeds on the floor and on a motor-driven treadmill. At slow walking speeds (37 +/- 10 m/min) the EEI was elevated (0.71 +/- 0.32 beats/m), indicating poor economy. At comfortable speeds (70 +/- 11 m/min) the EEI values decreased to the maximum economy (0.47 +/- 0.13 beats/m). At fast speeds (101 +/- 13 m/min), the EEI increased (0.61 +/- 0.17 beats/m), indicating poor economy relative to comfortable speeds. A graph of the EEI versus walking speed provides a way to evaluate and compare energy expenditure in a clinical setting.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Body Height
  • Body Weight
  • Cerebral Palsy / physiopathology
  • Child
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical*
  • Energy Metabolism*
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Gait
  • Heart Rate*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Spasticity
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Walking*