How Many Calories Do You Burn Doing Everyday Activities?

To maintain your weight the calculation is simple: burn the same amount of calories through activity that you take in from food. Likewise, to lose weight, you must burn MORE calories than you take in from food. One pound equals 3500 calories, so that means if you want to lose 1 pound per week then you’re going to have to burn 500 calories per day. To maintain some sanity and not feel too deprived from food, I suggest slashing 250 calories from your diet and burning 250 calories through exercise, in order to get the 500 calorie deficit you need. It’s actually not that difficult either when you think about how many calories we burn through everyday activities. As I always say, the trick is to just move around more. You’d be surprised how the calories add up.

I’ve come up with a list of typical things we do every day and the amount of calories we burn doing them. All calculations are based on a 130 pound woman.

* Brushing Teeth (2 minutes) – 4 calories
* Sleeping (7 hours) – 382 calories
* Writing (20 minutes) – 10 calories
* Standing (10 minutes) – 11 calories
* Walking up stairs (3 minutes) – 15 calories
* Reading (20 minutes) – 20 calories
* Studying (30 minutes) – 54 calories (interesting that it’s more than simply reading…)
* Foreplay (15 minutes) – 21 calories
* Sex (10 minutes) – 41 calories (added bonus!!)
* Putting away groceries (10 minutes) – 26 calories
* Sitting/resting (30 minutes) – 31 calories
* Washing dishes (15 minutes) – 33 calories
* Blowdrying hair (15 minutes) – 39 calories
* Stretching (10 minutes) – 39 calories
* Driving (30 minutes) – 62 calories
* Showering (15 minutes) – 62 calories
* Packing a suitcase (30 minutes) – 62 calories
* Ironing (30 minutes) – 66 calories
* Mopping (20 minutes) – 66 calories
* Pushing a stroller with child (30 minutes) – 78 calories
* Playing a board game (60 minutes) – 93 calories
* Carrying an infant (30 minutes) – 109 calories
* Cooking (45 minutes) – 117 calories
* Walk/run playing with kids (30 minutes) – 117 calories
* Housework (30 minutes) – 140 calories
* Rearrange furniture (30 minutes – 195 calories

All of that gives you a GRAND TOTAL of 1,645 calories for the day! So, you see that it’s actually not that hard to take the weight off. You just need a little discipline and drive. Plus, it will give you incentive to do the things that on your To Do List that you’ve put off. Not bad…


About Dani

I like trying the impossible and helping others do the same.

12 responses to “How Many Calories Do You Burn Doing Everyday Activities?

    • Hi Kaydance,

      I checked your blog out and it seems like you’re really struggling. I’ve suffered from anorexia and laxative abuse and when you’re going through it it seems like there’s never going to be an end and it can be so overwhelming. I promise though, that if you are persistent you will get over this.

      I like how you said that your goal weight was 130 (I can’t remember for sure now) OR until you feel beautiful in your own skin. It’s important to realize that it’s not the number, it’s about how you FEEL. You can feel beautiful in your skin no matter what it says on the scale. You are so much more than a dress size.

      I’m not sure how long you’ve been purging for, but if you don’t do something about it now it will only get worse. Plus, it’s only sabotaging your weight loss efforts. You are screwing up your metabolism and slowing it down and just because you purge doesn’t mean your body doesn’t absorb the calories.

      If you haven’t told someone yet please do it! I know it’s scary and that it’s hard to admit, but it’s not worth going down this road. Binging and purging is only a band-aid to mask how badly you feel inside, but think about it – is it making you feel any better?

      Just out of curiosity, where do you live? I live in New York and would love to give you any help that you need.

      Please reach out to me and to someone you trust to get help.

      Good luck!

  1. Jesslyn

    I am sorry to say that I do not believe the calorie count is correct. If everyone burned calories doing all of these things then there would be very few people who are overweight. In fact if this was the case we would not need to exercise at all! Wouldnt that be nice?

    • Hey Jesslyn! Thanks for checking out my blog. Actually the calorie count is is based on an average person. That being said though, most people in the US are pretty sedentary – they work at a desk, drive around in a car, and watch TV, and on top of that don’t eat in moderation. Yes, if you were doing all of those activities and eating properly there would be no such thing as obesity, but for most people, they are not moving enough and eating too much.

  2. sangeeta

    thanks for wonderful calorires burn chart but if a working lady does not do any household work because of maid then how much calories she burn in day and you have not mentioned the speaking activity in your chart i think every one does this activity the most specially ladies cannot sit quite

    • Hi Sangeet, great question! If you have a maid and don’t do any household chores the calories you burn in a day will be determined based on what you are doing during the day. If you’re very active you’ll burn more, but if you’re just sitting on the couch watching the maid and not moving you’ll burn the bare minimum, which is usually about 1,200 calories for the average person. This is the amount of calories (or energy) your body utilizes to maintain your organs.

      As for talking, you are definitely right in saying that everyone does that and I can’t believe I missed this most basic part of the chart! A woman weighing 135 pounds will burn about 47 calories per hour of talking. Talk away!

  3. Blair

    Pretty cool 🙂

  4. Hailie

    Hey! this is amazing! I would have not known about that at all! I mean, getting rid of cals while sleeping? Sounds to good to be True! LOL. THANKS SO MUCH! ~Haley, the 14 yr old.~ 🙂

    • Yes, Hailie,it’s true, which is why you need to make sure you’re eating enough food throughout the day. You’re constantly burning calories by just breathing, blinking, and reading. Still though, it’s best not to focus on the calories, but just on being healthy and moving because you want to and are doing fun things.

  5. Jessica Johnson

    That is fantastic thank you for this chart! Me and my husband have calorie counters on our phone but it doesn’t factor in house work or playing with our Daughter or sex and I knew we could count all that but didn’t know how to till reading this. Any advise on how to speed up your metabolism. I weigh 170 and I have maintained that for a long time. I don’t gain weight but can’t seem to loose weight either.

    • Hey Jessica,
      I’m so glad you found it helpful! Most calorie counters underestimate the amount you expend. A good one to look into is the BodyBugg. It goes around your arm and if you wear it all day it counts everything you expend.
      Here are some tips to boosting your metabolism:
      – Eat within 1 hour of waking up (about 100 calories, at least, if you’re not really a breakfast person)
      – Get moving! Watching your food intake alone will only help you lose weight in the short term. Exercise will help jump start that weight loss again and will boost your metabolism if you’re lifting weights. Building lean body mass (i.e. muscle) will increase the amount of calories you burn while at rest.
      – Incorporate bursts of cardio to get your heart rate up during your workouts. Here’s a simple formula: Do three exercises (i.e. squats, push-ups, and tricep kickbacks), and then mix in a 30-60 second sprint, jump rope, jumping jacks, or anything else that will get your heart rate up. Take a brief rest and then repeat.
      – DO NOT UNDEREAT OR YO-YO DIET! Eating too little or constantly losing and gaining weight can wreak havoc on your metabolism. Eat everything in moderation. You can even have a cake!

      Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any more questions!

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