The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has developed an evidence analysis library (EAL) for Nutrition and Dietetics professionals. The EAL is updated by members through workgroups consisting of experts in their fields, most often in response to unanswered questions. One such question is: what kinds of activities can be done during the rest period of an indirect calorimetry test in a healthy population? The objective of our study was to determine if listening to self-selected relaxing music or reading on an electronic device or a magazine effects resting energy expenditure (REE) as measured by an indirect calorimetry test in a healthy population. Answering this question would help indirect calorimetry test administrators know if these simple activities can be done during an indirect calorimetry test without significantly affecting REE but helping subjects remain awake. It would also help standardize the current protocol for indirect calorimetry administration. A randomized trial was conducted during an indirect calorimetry test, under three different conditions (resting, reading, listening to music). Six-five subjects (36 females and 29 males) were used in final data analysis. Inclusion criteria included healthy subjects between the ages of 18-50 years with a stable weight. Exclusion criteria included pregnant or lactating women or individuals who were taking medications known to affect metabolism. Reading, either a magazine or electronic device, resulted in a significant increase of 102.7 kcal/day when compared to resting (p<0.0001). There was no difference in REE when subjects read a magazine or on an electronic device. Listening to self-selected relaxing music increased REE by 27.6 kcal/day compared to rest (p=0.0072). Based on our results, we recommend subjects refrain from reading a magazine or electronic device during a test. Whether or not the smaller difference found while listening to music is practically significant would be a decision for the indirect calorimetry test administrators. Further research could be done to determine the effects other activities have on REE during an indirect calorimetry test. Such activities could include; watching television, texting, or playing passive game.



College and Department

Life Sciences; Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Science



Date Submitted


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indirect calorimetry, resting energy expenditure, reading, relaxing music, healthy adults