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.
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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.
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.