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August 1, 1942


Author Affiliations

From the Division of Health and Physical Education, University of Denver.

JAMA. 1942;119(14):1072-1074. doi:10.1001/jama.1942.02830310006003

Basal temperature is defined here as the body temperature taken under conditions which are usually considered as necessary for determining basal metabolism. That is to say, the individual should have had a good night's rest, no food for twelve hours and no exercise or excitement. Unless the patient is in the hospital or the test is run in the home a true basal metabolic rate is not obtained, for the exercise of dressing and going to the laboratory will have an appreciable influence on the oxidative rate. The half hour or hour rest is a poor compromise for basal conditions. This is not the most serious criticism of the determinations of basal metabolism, however. Many more errors are made when the patient is unable to relax because of nervous tension. Although the normal person would not be excited by such an examination, the person needing such a test is not

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