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How Many Calories are Burned by Resting?


Last modified 4th January 2016

Welcome to the resting section of DietandFitnessToday and the associated calories burned and weight lost. Here we present a list of 16 activities based on the general description of resting and the calories burnt for a typical man and woman.

These resting activities range from the highest calorie burn from 'sitting, fidgeting feet' which burns 78 calories in 30 minutes through to the activity 'sleeping' which has the lowest calorie burn of 41 calories in 30 minutes, for a typical adult weighing 190 pounds (86 Kg).

To help you find the information you need, we first focus on the most common resting activities. This is followed by the activities with the highest, lowest and average burnt calories per minute and per hour

We also cover the predicted weight loss from resting, typical food calorie equivalents and our new proprietary calories burned score© and calories burned rank©

For reclining, writing, which is a typical intensity activity under the general description of resting activities, the average calories burned by a person weighing 190 pounds (86 Kg) in 30 minutes is 56 Calories. In one hour the same activity will burn 112 Calories.

Effect of Intensity on the Calorie Calculator

Although the above is a typical example for resting, the calculator we use to determine the calories burnt depends on the intensity, duration and your body weight. At the bottom of the article we have a variety of different intensities which can be personalized based on your weight and the duration of the activities, using our free calculator.

Calorie Score and Calorie Rank for Resting

At dietandfitnesstoday we have a new proprietary concept of a Calories Burned Score© and Calories Burned Rank©.

The calorie score gives an indication of the relative burn rate measured as a percentage score out of 100 for the different resting activities, where 100% is the maximum calorie burn which we estimate from running at a pace of 4 minutes per mile which is a world class speed for running for 30 mins.

The calorie rank is the rank of the activity compared with all other 800 activities in our database to give an indication of the percentage of activities which have a higher or lower calorie burn. A rank of 1 means it is the highest ranking activity in terms or calorie burn and a rank of 100 means it is the activity with the lowest carlorie burn compared with all other activities.

Calories Burned in 30 Minutes for a Typical resting Activity

As we have previously mentioned Reclining, writing is a moderate and typical level of intensity for resting and can be used as a general representative approximate measure for calories burnt by resting. For this activity in 30 minutes an average man weighing 190 pounds (86 kg) burns 56 Calories, while an average woman weighing 163 pounds (74 kg), in 30 minutes burns 48 Calories.

Calories Per Minute

The calories burned per minute for Reclining, writing is 2 Calories per minute, for a typical man and for a typical female is 2 Calories per minute.

Calories Per Hour

The calories lost in one hour is 112 calories for a typical man, and 96 calories in one hour for a typical woman.

How to Burn 100 Calories

To burn 100 calories for a typical male would require 50 minutes of the activity reclining, writing and to burn 100 calories with the same resting activity for a typical female would take 50 minutes.

Score and Rank

Reclining, writing has a Calorie Burned Score© of 2.6 out of 100 which means it gives a calorie burn of 2.6 % of the highest realistic calorie burn possible. This activity has a Calorie Burned Rank© of 97 out of 100 ie it is in the top 97 % of activities in terms of calorie burn. There are in fact 801 activities that have a higher calorie burn than reclining, writing

Equivalent Activities

The following activities burn the same number of calories as Reclining, writing -

  • being a passenger on a power boat
  • farming, milking by machine, light effort
  • having hair or nails done by someone else
  • kneeling in church or at home, praying
  • knitting, sewing, light effort, wrapping presents, sitting

Comparison with Inactivity

30 mins of inactivity for example just sitting and watching television burns 43 calories for a typical man and 37 calories for a typical woman. Which means Reclining, writing burns 1.4 times more calories than the equivalent time of inactivity for an average man and 1.3 times more calories for an average female.

Food Calorie Equivalents

This level of 56 calories burnt by an average man reclining, writing is equivalent to 0.1 Big Macs, 0.2 snickers bar, 0.5 Starbucks Grande Skinny Lattes, 0.2 cheeseburgers, 0.2 slices of pizza or 0.1 large blueberry muffins.

For an average female burning 48 calories is equivalent to 0.1 Big Macs, 0.2 snickers bar, 0.4 Starbucks Grande Skinny Lattes, 0.2 cheeseburgers, 0.2 slices of pizza or 0.1 large blueberry muffins.

Weight Loss from Resting

To answer the question how many pounds will I lose from the activity resting? Taking this example of reclining, writing in 30 minutes, the weight loss for a typical man is a minimum of 0.01 pounds, and a typical woman would lose 0.01 pounds.

Based on 4 sessions per week of reclining, writing for a duration of 30 minutes per session, the approximate time taken to lose one pound is 25 weeks for a man and 25 weeks for a woman, assuming no other changes in lifestyle or eating habits.

The same 4 sessions per week of reclining, writing for a duration of 30 minutes per session, would lose 1kg in 14 weeks for a man and 17 weeks for a woman.

Resting Activity with the Highest Calorie Burn

The highest number of calories burned for an average person is achieved by sitting, fidgeting feet. For this activity in 30 minutes an average man burns 78 Calories, while an average woman in 30 minutes burns 67 Calories.

This activity of sitting, fidgeting feet has a Calories Burned Score© of 4.8 out of 100 which means it gives a calorie burn of 4.8 % of the maximum realistic calorie burn possible. This activity has a Calories Burned Rank© of 94 out of 100 ie it is in the top 94 % of activities in terms of calorie burn. There are in fact 757 activities that have a higher calorie burn than sitting, fidgeting feet

Resting Activity with the Lowest Calorie Burn

The resting activity with the lowest calories burnt is sleeping, which for an average man in 30 minutes burns 41 Calories, and for an average woman burns 35 Calories.

This activity of sleeping has a Calories Burned Score© of 1 out of 100 which means it gives a calorie burn of 1 % of the maximum realistic calorie burn possible. This activity has a Calories Burned Rank© of 100 out of 100 ie it is in the top 100 % of activities in terms of calorie burn. There are in fact 831 activities that have a higher calorie burn than sleeping

Average Calories Burned by Resting

Based on the the list of 16 resting activities, shown below, the average calories burned for an average male, weighing 190 pounds (86 kg) is 57 Calories for 30 minutes of resting. The average burnt for an average female, weighing 163 pounds (74 kg) is 49 Calories for 30 minutes of resting.

Resting for 30 minutes - Calories Burned Calculator

Calories Burned in 30 minutes of resting for Average Male (M) and Female (F) (click to personalise).
sitting, fidgeting feet - calories  Male=78 kcal, Female=67 kcal.
standing, fidgeting - calories  Male=78 kcal, Female=67 kcal.
sitting quietly, fidgeting, general, fidgeting hands - calories  Male=65 kcal, Female=55 kcal.
sitting, listening to music (not talking or reading) or watching a movie in a theater - calories  Male=65 kcal, Female=55 kcal.
lying quietly, doing nothing, lying in bed awake, listening to music (not talking or reading) - calories  Male=56 kcal, Female=48 kcal.
reclining, reading - calories  Male=56 kcal, Female=48 kcal.
reclining, talking or talking on phone - calories  Male=56 kcal, Female=48 kcal.
reclining, writing - calories  Male=56 kcal, Female=48 kcal.
sitting and smoking - calories  Male=56 kcal, Female=48 kcal.
sitting at a desk, resting head in hands - calories  Male=56 kcal, Female=48 kcal.
sitting quietly and watching television - calories  Male=56 kcal, Female=48 kcal.
sitting quietly, general - calories  Male=56 kcal, Female=48 kcal.
standing quietly in a line - calories  Male=56 kcal, Female=48 kcal.
lying quietly and watching television - calories  Male=43 kcal, Female=37 kcal.
meditating - calories  Male=43 kcal, Female=37 kcal.
sleeping - calories  Male=41 kcal, Female=35 kcal.

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You can browse other common activities from our database, from the links below or visit the compendium at https://sites.google.com/site/compendiumofphysicalactivities/home.

Calories Burned Activities


  aerobics
  at work
  badminton
  baseball
  ballet
  ballroom dancing
  basketball
  boxing
  biking
  canoeing
  climbing
  cleaning
  cricket
  cross country skiing
  crossfit
  cycling
  dancing
  exercise
  elliptical
  fishing
  football
  fencing
  gardening
  golf
  gymnastics
  hiking
  horse riding
  housework
  ice skating
  jogging
  judo
  karate
  kayaking
  kick boxing
  pilates
  rodeo sports
  rollerblading
  ropejumping
  rowing
  rugby
  running
  resting
  sailing
  shopping
  sitting
  skating
  skiing
  sleeping
  soccer
  softball
  spinning
  sports
  standing
  step aerobics
  swimming
  tae kwan do
  tennis
  treadmill
  volleyball
  walking
  water polo
  weight lifting
  yoga
  zumba

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Disclaimer: The information provided by Diet & Fitness Today is for general information and should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. You should always consult a licensed physician or medical professional for diagnosis and treatment of any medical condition and before starting any weight loss or fitness regime.