Facebook Pixel

Fewer calories used while watching TV than doing nothing at all?

By October 3, 2008 - 2:45pm
Rate This

I have read several times that we use up fewer calories while watching television than by doing nothing at all - like lying down and watching the ceiling!

Is this true? I know watching television is certainly a sedentary activity but it does stimulate the brain, especially if watching something educational - right? Or is this theory true?

Add a Comment2 Comments

Alysia, that's amazing. In both cases we're sitting still; in one case our arm is moving slightly (or our hands, in the case of a laptop) but that wouldn't account for 30 extra calories burned. It must be brain work! (I'm going to see if I can get my brain cells to ramp up and help more with my weight-loss efforts!)

Here are some more interesting counts of calories burned per hour (assuming a body weight of 160 pounds)

Walking at 2 mph -- 183
Walking at 3.5 mph -- 277
Bowling -- 219
Bicycling (leisure) -- 292
Hiking -- 438
Dancing -- 264
Lawn mowing -- 288
Laundry -- 100
Driving -- 90
Housecleaning -- 576

Looks like my house is going to be cleaner, and fast!

October 9, 2008 - 8:55am

While calculating BMR (basal metabolic rate) and your calorie burn is a bit complicated, there are a few tools to help guesstimate.

Here's an easy calorie counter

and here's a straightforward explanation of how to calculate BMR and calorie burn.

USA Today published a chart of calories burned during exercise and typical daily activities. The chart shows that a 154lb person burns 70 calories watching TV, but 100 calories writing. It looks like the greater brain activity required for writing expends more energy than watching TV.

October 3, 2008 - 6:36pm
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment

All user-generated information on this site is the opinion of its author only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. Members and guests are responsible for their own posts and the potential consequences of those posts detailed in our Terms of Service.

Healthy Eating

Get Email Updates

Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!