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How Many Calories are Burned During a 1 Hour Massage?

author image Jeanne Troncao, MS, LMT
Jeanne Troncao has been practicing massage since 1996 and began writing health-related articles in 2010. She is a marriage and family therapy intern and director of a massage school and clinic. Her articles can be found in "Bakersfield's Wellness Quarterly." She holds a Master of Science degree in counseling psychology and a Bachelor of Arts in English from California State University, Bakersfield.
How Many Calories are Burned During a 1 Hour Massage?
A young woman is receiving a massage. Photo Credit: George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Because the body requires energy to function, calories are burned during any activity. The more effort required to complete the activity, the more calories will be burned. Giving a massage burns calories, as does receiving a massage.

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Factors to Consider

To determine the number of calories burned while engaging in any activity, body composition, age, overall health and activity intensity and duration must be considered. Muscles use more energy than fat, so a more muscled masseuse will use more calories than someone who does not workout. In addition, giving a more vigorous massage will burn more calories than a slower, surface-level massage.

Giving Massage

Calculate the calories burned giving a massage using a calorie counter, which considers your weight and activity duration. For example, according to the USDA's Super Tracker for calories, a 34-year-old, 160-pound female burns about 289 calories giving a one-hour massage.

Receiving Massage

Bodies burn calories regardless of the activity -- even sleeping burns calories. Receiving a massage is similar to sleep in that a person is laying down fairly still. According to, sleeping burns about 0.42 calories an hour per pound of body weight for the average person. At this rate, a 160-pound person burns approximately 67 calories during an hour-long massage.

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