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EGYM activity points make health benefits measurable

EGYM Activity Points

EGYM activity points now make activity and health benefits measurable.

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About 10 Min.


In the course of a week, you usually do various physical activities, such as 1x 60 min yoga, 2x 45 min strength training and 1x 30 min run. In the process, you train at varying intensities with correspondingly different effects on your body. So, for example, a slow walk has a less positive effect on your cardiovascular system than a fast run. In other words: one minute of fast running is more valuable for your health than one minute of slow walking.
Initially, this makes it difficult to see which activity contributes to improving your health and fitness and by how much. What is better? Strength or endurance? And how much of each is necessary to see a lasting improvement?

Activity points can answer this as they illustrate the health benefits of your sporting activities. The points correspond 1:1 to a parameter which originally comes from intensive care: the metabolic equivalent of task (known as MET or MET minutes for short). MET compares a person’s energy expenditure in different sporting activities in relation to their basal metabolic rate - i.e. the level of exertion for your activity.
This results in a fair system which assesses individual effort. Different people get the same number of points for the same amount of effort. A well-trained sportsperson, however, is working considerably harder and therefore burns more calories for the same subjective effort and thus the same number of activity points. The absolute performance, i.e. the number of calories, would be different in this example. But since both people would have put in the same amount of effort, the relative performance, i.e. the number of activity points, remains the same.



What does 1 activity point mean?

1 activity point corresponds exactly to one MET minute. This metabolic value denotes the intensity of the respective workload in relation to the basal metabolic rate. The basal metabolic rate varies from person to person and describes the amount of energy you use in 24 hours at rest. If you convert the basal metabolic rate to one minute, you therefore divide it by 24 hours * 60 minutes, giving you 1 MET minute or 1 activity point.

1 activity point = 1 MET minute = basal metabolic rate / (24 (hours/day) * 60 (minutes/hour)) = basal metabolic rate / 1440

1 activity point corresponds to exactly the amount of energy you use for a minute of sitting quietly. More activity points, therefore, correspond to a multiple of this amount of energy. If you receive 10 activity points, you have consequently burned 10 times the amount of energy you would use for a minute of sitting.

1 activity point, therefore, corresponds to a different amount of activity for each individual. For someone with a high basal metabolic rate of 1900 kcal per day, one activity point is worth 1.32 kcal (1900 / (24*60)), and for someone with a 1400 kcal basal metabolic rate per day, one activity point is, therefore, worth 0.97 kcal (1400 / (24*60)).

The result is that a strong person with a high basal metabolic rate has to work harder to get the same amount of activity points. For example, a higher weight would need to be lifted in strength training. However, since proportionally more energy is used in endurance sport for the same duration, here it is only the length of the workout which matters. This creates fairness and enables comparisons between different people.


From activity points to calories

If you are now wondering what the activity points you have earned are worth in calories, you can work it out with a rough estimate. You can roughly work out your basal metabolic rate based on your body weight as follows.

Your body burns approximately 1 kilocalorie per kilogram of body weight per hour at rest. To get to one MET minute, you now need to multiply this value by your body weight in kilograms and then divide by 60 minutes. As a result:

1 activity point = 1 MET minute  1 kcal * (body weight in kg) / 60 

The following sample calculation is based on someone who weighs 70kg:

1 activity point = 1 MET minute  (1 kcal * 70) / 60 = 1,167 kcal

If this person now earns 300 activity points, it is easy to estimate the number of calories:

300 activity points = 300 * 1 MET minute  300 * (1 kcal * 70) / 60 = 300 * 1,167 kcal = 350 kcal

Please note that this only represents an approximation of the number of calories and the actual calories may differ! We therefore use more precise formulae on the EGYM Smart Strength machines and for the EGYM Branded Member App to calculate the basic 1 MET minute individually.


How do I get EGYM activity points?

10 EGYM activity points are given 

  • to anyone who does an activity for 1 minute which is approximately 10 times more intensive than sitting, e.g. high-intensity interval training or kick boxing.
  • to anyone who does an activity for 2 minutes, which is 5 times more intensive for the body than sitting, e.g. fast walking or relaxed cycling.
  • to anyone who does approx. 10 push-ups or 5 pull-ups.


Collect activity points for a high activity level!

We can see that activity points are the ideal metric to compare activities and their training effects. The more you train, the higher your activity level. A higher activity level in turn leads to stronger positive health effects for you.
The activity level reflects the status of your current fitness and the associated health effects. The respective health benefits and thresholds of each level are based on scientific research and World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations. 
So, for example, the Gold activity level corresponds exactly to the minimum recommendation by the WHO for physical activity in adults. To achieve this level you need to earn at least 2,300 activity points within 28 days. This equates to approx. 150 minutes of moderate activity per week. Researchers have observed the optimum ratio of health benefits compared with the time spent for this amount of activity. Of course, health benefits increase even further if you work even harder!
Our EGYM Branded Member App shows you the precise effects of your workouts on your health. Depending on your activity level, you can see the concrete benefits your past training has already brought you. 

Did you know that you can reach Gold level by training just twice in ten days on EGYM Smart Strength machines (irrespective of your chosen training programme)?


Update November 2019

Smart Cardio shows your activity points

Smart Cardio also now displays your activity points straight after your workout. Whilst it was previously only possible to see the activity points for your workout on the branded member app, now you can see how many activity points you have just earned or you earned in your recent workouts right on the machine’s screen straight after your workout.
In calculating the activity points, we rely on the manufacturer’s calorie specifications. Every cardio machine calculates in the background how many calories you have burned during your workout. The calories burned are now correlated with your basal metabolic rate and thus 1 MET minute. The result is your newly acquired activity points.
Why don’t you try a few workouts on Smart Cardio and find out whether intensive interval training or a comfortable endurance run gives you more activity points!


Update Juni 2020

Activity points after every workout now on EGYM Smart Strength

Directly after a workout, your training performances are now displayed on the machine’s screen in Activity Points in addition to weight moved and compared with past performances (see picture, left side)

Presentation of the health effects.
During the coronavirus era, you're bound to have a particular need to do something beneficial for your health.
EGYM activity points have been a suitable and scientifically based measure of physical activity for a long time. This measure also serves as a basis for the popular activity levels which show you the health benefits of exercise at a glance. Until now, the EGYM activity points and levels have only been displayed on the EGYM apps. We have now changed this so that you can see the positive health effects of your workout on the EGYM machines themselves.

Comparability between users.
What makes the activity points special is that the calories burned are related to your basal metabolic rate. In this way, the points not only better express the health effects of the activity, but also make it possible to compare the performances of different users. Let’s look at the example of a man who weighs 100 kg and a woman who weighs 50 kg and who both lift 10x50 kg. Both have used a similar amount of energy (kcal), but the woman has done significantly more in terms of her body weight, thus benefitting from a greater health effect and therefore receiving more activity points.

More suitable stress metric.
The term ‘weight moved’ is easy to understand at first, but can easily lead to misunderstandings. With a higher training weight, the number of possible repetitions decreases disproportionately, so the (total) weight moved ends up being lower. Therefore, the metric ‘weight moved’ provides an undesirable incentive to train with a lower load and thus lower training stimulus. As a result, you would have moved more weight, but certainly would not have trained more effectively. The afterburn effect (EPOC) is therefore now also included in the activity points to make it apparent that more intensive training really pays off.

Comparability with other activities.
Please note that the weight moved is only applicable to strength training and more importantly cannot always be compared even between different strength training exercises.
In contrast, activity points apply to all types of exercise, allowing the comparison of a range of different activities.


Update April 2023

Activity point calculations now even more precise due to additional data points

Due to an improved estimation of the athlete's body composition, the calculation of activity points is now even more precise. We now use body fat percentage and body weight as the most reliable data points for calculating activity points. If the body fat percentage is not available, we still estimate the body composition by weight, height, age and gender. For missing data points, there are new default values in this update. 

So if you want to benefit from the most accurate activity point calculations, stand on the nearest body composition scale in your gym, connect your home scale under Connected Apps, or manually enter your current values in BioAge!

Body data as the cornerstone of the calculation

The athlete's composition, i.e. height, weight, and body fat percentage play a significant role in estimating the intensity of an exercise. A person who is 143 lbs with less muscle has to make more effort to lift a 110 pound barbell compared to a muscular 220 lbs powerlifter. So they also burn more calories doing this exercise. 

Since EGYM activity points reflect calorie consumption, the calculation of points must also take into account the athlete's physique. Therefore the petite person gets more activity points for the same activity compared to the powerlifter. 

Activity points on Smart Strength

Due to rounding, the activity points may differ minimally on the Smart Strength machine from those in your gym's app. You may notice this when multiple sets of your workout are aggregated on the app. We have therefore also included a rounding sign before the activity points.

Fair points

How the update affects you personally is something you'll have to try out for yourself! Our tests have shown that there will be slightly more points on average. But for the most part, the differences are less than 10%. And remember, the system has only become more accurate.