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How Many Calories Can You Burn Daily Just From Sitting & Walking Around a House?

author image Alex O'Meara
A journalist and writer since 1987, Alex O'Meara has worked for the "Baltimore Sun," City News Bureau of Chicago, "Newsday" and NBC. Author of the healthcare expose, "Chasing Medical Miracles: The Promise and Perils and Clinical Trials," O'Meara has completed several marathons and holds a B.A. in English from Long Island University.
How Many Calories Can You Burn Daily Just From Sitting & Walking Around a House?
A couple laughing while looking at a laptop together in the living room. Photo Credit: Jupiterimages, Brand X Pictures/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Running, walking, bowling and eating and sleeping are all activities that burn calories. Everything you do, in fact, burns calories. A major factor in losing, or gaining, weight involves balancing the number of calories you consume with the number of calories you burn — even if you burn them sitting in a chair or walking around the house.

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A calorie is a unit of measurement for thermal energy. According to registered dietician Flavia Herzog, MA, RD, a calorie is how much energy it takes to increase 1 gram of water by 1 degree Celsius. The energy produced when you consume calories fuels your body, much in the same way gas fuels a car. You require a certain number of calories to keep your blood flowing, your brain thinking and your body functioning. This is called the Resting Metabolic Rate, and it accounts for about 60 percent of the calories you burn each day.

Daily Calories

Herzog estimates that, if you're an average person, you need to eat between 1,000 and 1,400 calories per day to run your body doing absolutely nothing. If you move around a little bit, then you need to eat an additional 400 to 600 calories per day. Herzog cautions that these are general figures, and that only a trained dietician can advise you on your specific, daily calories needs.


According to the Healthy Eating Guide, sitting burns an estimated 75 calories per hour. The number of actual calories burned, of course, depends on your body composition, weight and metabolism. Reading a book while sitting burns 112 calories an hour for a 190-lb. man. A 163-lb. woman buns 96 calories per hour. To determine the number you would burn in a day of sitting, multiply those figures by the number of hours in your day

Walking Around the House

The number of calories you would burn in 1 hour walking around your house, if you are a 190-lb. man, is 172. If you're a 163-lb. woman, you'll burn 148 calories. If you have stairs, you'll burn 259 calories per hour walking downstairs if you're a 193-lb. man, and 222 calories if you're a 163-lb. woman.

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