How Many Calories Do You Burn Doing Nothing?

There are many factors that come into play to figure out how many calories you burn doing nothing. Your age, weight, activity level, and gender all play into how many calories your body burns in a state of doing zippo, nada, nothing. Males typically burn more calories than women because of increased muscle mass. Younger people usually burn more calories than older people. Other factors determining your basal metabolic rate are:

Genetics – some individuals are born with naturally faster or slower metabolisms than others.

Gender – the reason men typically have higher basal metabolic rates is that they have more lean muscle mass and less body fat. Muscle mass burns more energy (calories) than fat does.

Age – as mentioned earlier, age affects BMR. After the age of 20, your basal metabolic rate reduces about two percent every ten years.

Weight – the heavier a person is the higher their basal metabolic rate is. An obese male has about a 25% higher basal metabolic rate than an average male.

Body Surface Area – BSA has to do with your weight and height. Let’s say two males both weighed 180 pounds. Male number one was 6 feet, and male number two was 5 feet 7 inches. Most likely, male number one would have a higher basal metabolic rate because he has more body surface area. This does not take into account activity level, age, etc.

Caloric Intake – drastic calorie reduction and starvation can bring your basal metabolic rate to a screeching halt. The result could be a 30% reduction.

Temperature – the external temperature of the environment can increase or decrease BMR. Cold temperatures have the greatest affect. As the temperature drops, the body has to expend more energy trying to keep warm.

Internal Temperature – the warmer the body’s internal temperature is, the higher the BMR. Just a half-degree change can cause the BMR to increase by about five percentage points. That’s why people experiencing a fever have higher BMR rates.

How Many Calories Does an Adult Male Burn While Doing Nothing?

The average white adult male measures 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighs 170 pounds, and is 30 years old with an average build will burn about 65 calories an hour or 1560 calories in a 24 hour period sleeping. The number of calories goes up to approximately 70 if he were to be sitting in a recliner awake all day watching television. 70 calories per hour equates to 1680 in a 24 hour period. Let’s say that same man spent his day sitting down reading a book – he would burn about 92 calories per hour, or 2208 in a 24 hour period.

How Many Calories Does an Adult Female Burn While Doing Nothing?

In this scenario, the average adult female is 5 feet 5 inches tall, weighs 140 pounds, is 30 years of age, and has an average build. This person would burn about 55 calories per hour during sleep. That rate moves up to 60 if she were to be sitting around all day watching television. Sitting on the couch reading a book or magazine, she would burn off about 80 calories per hour, which equates to 1920 calories in a given 24 hour period.

Discover the number of calories you burn in a day using our online BMR calculator!

3 comments for “How Many Calories Do You Burn Doing Nothing?

  1. Bert
    July 21, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    There is certainly a lot to learn about this subject.
    I really like all of the points you made.

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  3. Penney
    July 16, 2014 at 1:49 am

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