basal metabolic rate

Last reviewed 01/2018

Basal metabolic rate is a measure of basal metabolism. It is standardly expressed as heat production per unit of body surface area per day. Uniform criteria are taken for its measurement, so minimizing the effects of variation with:

  • age
  • sex
  • body weight
  • height
  • time of day
  • hormonal variations e.g. individual thyroid function, time of month in females
  • recent food
  • recent exercise
  • ambient temperature variation

For the average man, BMR is about 7 megajoules per day. In practice, the resting metabolic rate is a more practical index used in the assessment of energy requirement.