How Many Calories are Burned by Sitting?
Last modified 4th December 2015
These sitting activities range from the highest calorie burn from 'sitting and playing drums' which burns 164 calories in 30 minutes through to the activity 'sitting and laughing' which has the lowest calorie burn of 43 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 sitting 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 sitting, typical food calorie equivalents and our new proprietary calories burned score© and calories burned rank©
For sitting, fidgeting feet, which is a typical intensity activity under the general description of sitting activities, the average calories burned by a person weighing 190 pounds (86 Kg) in 30 minutes is 78 Calories. In one hour the same activity will burn 155 Calories.
Effect of Intensity on the Calorie Calculator
Although the above is a typical example for sitting, 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 Sitting
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 sitting 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 sitting Activity
As we have previously mentioned Sitting, fidgeting feet is a moderate and typical level of intensity for sitting and can be used as a general representative approximate measure for calories burnt by sitting. For this activity in 30 minutes an average man weighing 190 pounds (86 kg) burns 78 Calories, while an average woman weighing 163 pounds (74 kg), in 30 minutes burns 67 Calories.
Calories Per Minute
The calories burned per minute for Sitting, fidgeting feet is 3 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 155 calories for a typical man, and 133 calories in one hour for a typical woman.
How to Burn 100 Calories
To burn 100 calories for a typical male would require 33 minutes of the activity sitting, fidgeting feet and to burn 100 calories with the same sitting activity for a typical female would take 50 minutes.
Score and Rank
Sitting, fidgeting feet has a Calorie Burned Score© of 4.8 out of 100 which means it gives a calorie burn of 4.8 % of the highest realistic calorie burn possible. This activity has a Calorie 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
The following activities burn the same number of calories as Sitting, fidgeting feet -
- accordion, sitting
- drawing, writing, painting, standing
- engineer (e.g., mechanical or electrical)
- fishing, jog or line, standing, general
- flying airplane or helicopter
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 Sitting, fidgeting feet burns 2.0 times more calories than the equivalent time of inactivity for an average man and 1.8 times more calories for an average female.
Food Calorie Equivalents
This level of 78 calories burnt by an average man sitting, fidgeting feet is equivalent to 0.1 Big Macs, 0.3 snickers bar, 0.7 Starbucks Grande Skinny Lattes, 0.3 cheeseburgers, 0.3 slices of pizza or 0.2 large blueberry muffins.
For an average female burning 67 calories is equivalent to 0.1 Big Macs, 0.2 snickers bar, 0.6 Starbucks Grande Skinny Lattes, 0.2 cheeseburgers, 0.2 slices of pizza or 0.2 large blueberry muffins.
Weight Loss from Sitting
To answer the question how many pounds will I lose from the activity sitting? Taking this example of sitting, fidgeting feet 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 sitting, fidgeting feet 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 sitting, fidgeting feet for a duration of 30 minutes per session, would lose 1kg in 10 weeks for a man and 12 weeks for a woman.
Sitting Activity with the Highest Calorie Burn
The highest number of calories burned for an average person is achieved by sitting and playing drums. For this activity in 30 minutes an average man burns 164 Calories, while an average woman in 30 minutes burns 140 Calories.
This activity of sitting and playing drums has a Calories Burned Score© of 13.8 out of 100 which means it gives a calorie burn of 13.8 % of the maximum realistic calorie burn possible. This activity has a Calories Burned Rank© of 78 out of 100 ie it is in the top 78 % of activities in terms of calorie burn. There are in fact 468 activities that have a higher calorie burn than sitting and playing drums
Sitting Activity with the Lowest Calorie Burn
The sitting activity with the lowest calories burnt is sitting and laughing, which for an average man in 30 minutes burns 43 Calories, and for an average woman burns 37 Calories.
This activity of sitting and laughing has a Calories Burned Score© of 1.2 out of 100 which means it gives a calorie burn of 1.2 % of the maximum realistic calorie burn possible. This activity has a Calories Burned Rank© of 98 out of 100 ie it is in the top 98 % of activities in terms of calorie burn. There are in fact 827 activities that have a higher calorie burn than sitting and laughing
Average Calories Burned by Sitting
Based on the the list of 63 sitting activities, shown below, the average calories burned for an average male, weighing 190 pounds (86 kg) is 78 Calories for 30 minutes of sitting. The average burnt for an average female, weighing 163 pounds (74 kg) is 67 Calories for 30 minutes of sitting.
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Calories Burned Activities