Which human activities use the most energy?

How is human energy consumption made up?

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The human energy consumption can be determined from the basal metabolism and the output metabolism.

Basal metabolic rate is understood as the amount of energy that the body needs in an empty state with complete rest and an ambient temperature of 20 degrees Celsius to maintain vital functions. These include cardiac and respiratory activity, brain functions, the performance of the glands, e.g. the salivary gland, and the smooth muscles, e.g. in the internal organs. The basal metabolic rate depends on age, gender, body surface or weight and body composition. Women have a 10 percent lower basal metabolic rate than men because lean body mass consumes more energy and women have a higher proportion of fat than men for genetic reasons. As a rough guideline for the basal metabolic rate of an adult man, one can assume around 1 kcal per kg of body weight per hour. For a man with a body weight of 70 kg, this corresponds to a value of 1700 kcal per day. For a woman of the same weight, the basal metabolic rate is only 1530 kcal per day. The basal metabolic rate decreases with age, as metabolic processes take place more slowly and body composition changes. On the other hand, special metabolic situations such as growth, pregnancy, breastfeeding, stress, fever and other diseases increase the basal metabolic rate.
The power conversion is understood to mean all increases in energy consumption over and above the basal conversion. This mainly includes muscle work, maintaining body temperature and the energy to digest food (food-induced thermogenesis). The performance turnover is therefore strongly dependent on the individual lifestyle. Physically hard-working people have a high output, while people who predominantly sit down have a significantly lower energy requirement. Exercise also increases the energy requirement, but often less than hoped.
The energy that the human body needs comes from food. The main sources of energy are carbohydrates, fat, protein and alcohol. The energy content of food is called the calorific value; it is measured in joules (kJ) or calories (1 kcal = 4.187 kJ). The rounded amounts of energy available to the body are 4 kcal for carbohydrates, 9 kcal for fats, 4 kcal for protein and 7 kcal for alcohol per gram. The PAL value was used to calculate the average energy requirement for different physical activity and for different occupational groups ("physical activity level"). This results, multiplied by the value of the basal metabolic rate, the guide values ​​for the energy consumption. Men between the ages of 25 and 51 should consume an average of 2900 and women 2300 kilocalories.
The easiest way to determine whether you are adding too much or too little energy is to weigh your body regularly. If the body weight does not change over a longer period of time, the energy balance is balanced. If you gain weight, too much energy is being supplied to the body, while weight loss indicates a lack of energy supply.

Noack, R .: GU x PAL = EU: New guideline values ​​for energy consumption - an explanation. In: Ernähr-Umschau 48 (6), pp. 231-237, 2001
Hofmann, L .: Energy. In: aid consumer service 45 (12), pp. 683-686, 2000
Thews, G. u.a .: anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology of humans. 5th edition. Wissenschaftliche Verlagsgesellschaft mbH, Stuttgart 1999
Deutsches Grünes Kreuz, Marburg (Ed.): Inquired: How can a person's energy requirement be determined? In: Information Service Nutrition - Research - Health 5 (7), pp. 5-6, 1995
Brüggemann, I .: How much energy do people need? In: aid consumer service informed, No. 1235, Bonn, 1995

Status: 2007

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