How many calories do you burn a day doing nothing?

How many calories do you burn a day doing nothing?

You may be wondering how many calories you burn a day doing nothing. 

Even if you're not very active, you're still burning calories. The average person burns 1,500 calories a day just by being alive! 

But that's not all. By incorporating some simple activities into your day-to-day routine, you can quickly increase the number of calories you burn without even realizing it.

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How many calories do you burn a day doing nothing?

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, our bodies burn around 1,200 to 2,200 kilocalories just by breathing, pumping blood, and digesting food. That represents between 60 and 70% of our total daily energy.

Burning calories without doing anything


Although we have heard that sleeping makes us fat because we are inactive, this is not true. Instead, the body needs the energy to keep the most basic functions active.

We can burn between 0.9 and 1.02 Kcal per kilo of our weight per hour. So if you multiply your weight by 8 hours, you will get the number of calories your body burns at rest.

That is an estimate because each person has a different metabolism, though it's believed that we burn around 400-600 kcal.


We burn around 10% of our daily calorie intake digesting food. However, this number can vary depending on the foods we eat.

For example, proteins are more challenging for our bodies to digest than other types of food. As a result, our bodies burn 27% of the total calories they contain.

However, fats and carbohydrates burn 2.5% and 7% when you digest them. It's important to remember that our body doesn't finish digesting food until three hours later, so the body continues to expend energy after eating.

Standing or sitting

In one hour, we can burn around 60 Kcal by sitting and doing activities like reading, traveling, or working.

If we are standing for an hour, doing things around the house, working or shopping, our body spends about 120 Kcal.

Cleaning the house

According to Forbes magazine, the house is sweeping, and mopping can burn around 240 Kcal per hour. They point out that this is about the same number of calories burned doing pilates.

If we wash dishes by hand, we use up about 160 Kcal in half an hour. However, if we load or unload the dishwasher in that time, we use up to about 100 Kcal.

What are some activities that burn more calories than others?

If you're looking to burn more calories, certain activities will help you reach your goal.

  • Cardiovascular exercises like running, swimming, and biking boost your heart rate and burn calories.
  • Strength-training activities like lifting weights and doing bodyweight exercises can also help to increase your metabolism and burn more calories.
  • And finally, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a type of exercise that alternates between short bursts of intensity and periods of rest. HIIT can help you maximize your calorie burn in a shorter amount of time.

So, if you're looking to up your calorie burn, these are some great activities to add to your routine.

How to calculate how many calories you burn in a day

To calculate how many calories you burn in a day, you need to know your basal metabolic rate (BMR).

Your BMR is the number of calories your body burns at rest. To find your BMR, you can use an online calculator or look up a chart that uses your height, weight, age, and gender. We leave a very accurate one below:

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Once you know your BMR, you can estimate the number of calories you burn in a day by adding in the number of calories you burn through physical activity.

For example, if your BMR is 1,500 and you burn 500 calories through physical activity, then you are likely to burn 2,000 calories daily.

Remember that these are just estimates; the only way to know how many calories you burn is to track your intake and output over time.

If you find that you are not losing weight, you may need to adjust your diet or increase your level of physical activity.

What are the benefits of knowing how many calories you burn daily?

Knowing the number of calories, you burn each day can be incredibly helpful in achieving your fitness goals.

Knowing your calorie burn can help you create a more effective exercise and diet plan if you're trying to lose weight.

And if you're trying to gain weight or build muscle, understanding your daily calorie burn can help you ensure you're consuming enough calories to reach your goals.

Knowing your calorie burn can also help prevent over-exercising, which can lead to injuries.

So whether you're trying to lose weight, gain muscle, or stay healthy, knowing your daily calorie burn is a valuable piece of information.

Ways to increase the number of calories you burn each day.

Burning calories doesn't have to be a chore! There are plenty of simple ways to increase the way you burn them daily.

For example, take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk or bike to work, or go for a brisk walk or run during your lunch break.

You can also burn more by incorporating strength training into your fitness routine.

Even everyday activities like gardening or doing household chores can help to boost your calorie burn.

The key is to find activities you enjoy and make them a part of your daily routine.

By making small changes, you can make a big difference in the number of calories you burn each day.

What happens if you don't burn enough calories?

If you don't burn enough calories, your body will start to store them as fat. That can lead to weight gain and other health problems, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

When you don't burn enough calories, your metabolism slows down, and your body becomes less efficient at breaking down food.

That can also lead to lethargy and feelings of hunger, even when you're not hungry.

In short, not burning enough calories can have a significant impact on your health, both in the short and long term.

So if you're looking to stay healthy, keep your calorie intake in check!

The bottom line

So, how many calories do you burn a day doing nothing? The answer may surprise you. But, it's more than you think!

And that's not even counting the calories your body burns to keep you alive.

Keep reading our blog for more interesting facts and information about health and fitness.

We have plenty of articles that will help get you on the right track to living a healthy lifestyle – without having to break a sweat!

DISCLAIMER: does not provide medical advice, examination, or diagnosis.

Medically reviewed and approved by Nataniel Josue M D.