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The number of calories you burn while nursing is determined by your weight and the length and intensity of your work shift. Activity level is the predominant factor: You burn more calories on your feet rather than sitting at a desk.


The formula for estimating the amount of calories burned while nursing is (METs x 3.5 x weight in kg) ÷ 200) x duration in minutes. Your MET, or metabolic equivalent, is a calculation that represents the energy exerted in a specific task compared to a sedentary state. Divide your weight in pounds by 2.2 to determine your weight in kilograms. If you weigh 160 lbs., your weight in kilograms is 72.7.

MET Values

If your job requires you to work in a lab and walk slowly, your MET value is 2.0. If you walk at a moderate speed and carry light objects or push wheelchairs, your MET value is 4.0. Using stairs on the job can increase your MET value to 5.0.

Calories Burned

A 160 lb. person working in a lab for 7 hours can burn 1,058 calories. If you walk for four hours, half of an 8-hour shift, you burn 1,210 calories. If your job is physically demanding and you're on your feet about 8 hours, you can burn 3,024 calories.

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