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Resting Metabolic Rate

Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) Test

Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) refers to the measured energy expenditure one’s body does at rest to sustain life. The test can be performed from adolescents to adults and the elderly.

The living tissues of the human body consume energy during various activities, like the muscles during exertion, or the gut during digesting food, however even when resting our bodies consume energy to sustain life. Some organs of the body function non-stop even during sleep, like the heart and lungs. The amount of energy consumed at rest varies with one’s age, gender, body size and its composition. This is the Resting Metabolic Rate, and its more academic equivalent the Basal Metabolic Rate. Resting Metabolic Rate is an essential component of the Energy Balance Equation which balances the energy intake with the energy expenditure and gives indication on the body’s weight control.

We measure the RMR using calorimetry of the ventilated air at rest. The subject lies down in a relaxed position and maintains stillness for a certain amount of time having a mask over the nose and mouth to capture ventilated air which is than sampled for RMR by a medical grade calorimeter. The test takes approx 15min and it does not require any effort or exertion other than breathing. It is recommended to have this test done on an empty stomach if possible or as far away from a previous meal as possible.

resting metabolic rate
resting metabolic rate

The test does not require undressing or any special clothing, and takes place at room temperature. There are very few contraindications to measuring the RMR, namely claustrophobia, involuntary movement diseases and severe arthritis which does not allow lying still.