Basal Metabolic Rate and energy cost of performing farm activities in Magubike village, Kilosa District, Morogoro, Tanzania

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Sokoine University of Agriculture


Determination of basal metabolic rate (BMR), energy cost of various farm activities, physical activity level (PAL), total energy expenditure (TEE), nutritional status and work capacity (VO 2 max) was done to examine their influence on farmer’s productivity. A cross sectional study involving 64 farmers was conducted on randomly selected households. Energy expenditure measurements were determined using the Douglas bag technique, VO 2 max was measured by the Rockport fitness test and nutritional status was assessed by BMI and Hb concentration. Analysis was done using student t - test, correlation analysis and regression analysis. Men’s BMR was 4.7± 1.12MJ/day while that of women was 4.34 ± 0.77 MJ/day. Farmers mean PAL was 2.13 ± 0.26. TEE in men was 10.24 ± 3.1 MJ/day and that of women was 8.57 ± 2.1 MJ/day. BMR, PAL and TEE were all higher in men than women. The measured energy cost of digging and weeding were 6.56 ± 1.25 kcal/min; 5.67 ± 1.28 kcal/ min in men and 6.60 ± 1.49 kcal/min; 6.21 ± 1.38 kcal /min in women. Women had a higher BMI (22.4± 3.7) than men (20.9 ± 2.1). Increase in BMI was associated with decrease in percent FFM (r = - 0.811, P < 0.01) but an increase in FM (r = 0.812, P < 0.01) and percent FM (r = 0.914, P < 0.01). VO 2 max of males (45 ± 6.54 ml/kg/min) was higher than females (36± 6.49 ml/kg/min). Haemoglobin (Hb) concentration was the highest predictor of VO 2 max at 39 %. The energy expenditure of rural farmers is high and can be used to determine energy requirements. Work capacity is determined by their nutritional status (BMI, Hb concentration and body composition). Therefore, emphasis on good nutrition and provision of nutrition education remains crucial to farmers whose livelihood depends on physical strength in agriculture production. Furthermore, energy expenditure studies are necessary to validate appropriate energy requirements for farmers in Tanzania



Morogoro, Agricultural production, Tanzania, Basal Metabolic Rate, Magubike Village, Energy requirements, Nutritional status, BMR


Ocan, H. N. (2008). Basal Metabolic Rate and energy cost of performing farm activities in Magubike village, Kilosa District, Morogoro, Tanzania. Morogoro:Sokoine University of Agriculture.