Physical Activity Level (PAL)



Physical activity level in brief (PAL) is a way of expressing a person’s daily physical activity in a number. It is a result of your total energy used in different activity throughout 24 hours of the day divided by your basal metabolic rate. Therefore, to find one physical activity level the basal metabolic rate is very important as well.


Moreover, generally, we spend our whole day in doing different types of indoor or outdoor activities. For doing these types activities you usually need a lot of energy to burn. Most of them need physical movement to be done which is called physical activity. Therefore at what level you do your daily activities whether it is mild or worse is called physical activity level. To maintain a good weight management you need to calculate your daily activity level.


Calculate Physical Activity Level


To calculate physical activity level you need both a list of your 24 hours activities and the time you put in behind each activity. Such as- doing lighthouse work, swimming, walking to office etc.


By using the equation below, you may be able to calculate your daily physical activity level.


Physical activity level (PAL) = Total energy expenditure (in 24 hours)/Basal metabolic rate (24 hours)


That means total energy you use in doing several activities is together divided by your 24 hours of basal metabolic rate is physical activity level.


The Estimation of Physical Activity Factor


An estimation of the physical activity level of different types of men and women given below:


Category of Activity Level

Physical Activity Factor (estimated)

Men and women (inactive)


Women (moderately active)


Men (moderately active)


For athletes

Much higher than general estimation


The above physical activity factors usually are used to calculate the number of calories one has to eat. For a significant weight loss, physical activity factor should be a minimum 2 comparing the physical activity of one week to another week may help you assess your progress whether you are on the right level of activity or not.


A demo of daily physical activity level of an individual below


How a person can usually spend his time on a typical day in doing different types of activity given below-


Physical Activity on a Particular Day

Spending Time (in hours)

Driving, washing, office work


Easy household chores


Sleeping, resting in bed


Reading, watching TV, writing


Slow walking


Mopping floor, gardening


Cycling, dancing swimming


Walking stairs jogging, soccer etc.



This chart is just a demo. Therefore, the physical activity and its level may vary man to man or woman to woman. The more extreme your physical activity is, the more you can burn calories. So understanding the physical activity level help you to maintain a healthy weight management.


The dieters who are already in a weight management program need to keep the update of the physical activity level of each work day. What types of activities we generally engage in and how much they help to burn energy or calorie are more important to know to fuel your journey on the way to lose weight.