How Many Calories Do I Burn A Day Doing Nothing

How many calories do i burn doing nothing?, is a question you’re probably interested to know, If you’re monitoring your weight, whether you’re looking to lose or gain. It ultimately makes sense, considering that calorie counting is one of the popular ways to lose or maintain weight, amongst many of the other weight loss techniques that work.

But, it’s important to note that the answer to this question ” how many calories do I burn a day doing nothing” will be different for everyone. How many calories you burn on any given day or on a specific activity is all dependent on what you get up to as well as many other determining factors such as age, weight and height.

However, The average person burns around 1800 calories doing nothing. According to the Healthy Eating Guide, sitting burns a total of 75 calories per hour. A sedentary woman aged 19 to 30 burns 1,800 to 2,000 calories daily, while a sedentary woman aged 31 to 51 burns about 1,800 calories per day.

Moreover, the number of calories you burn each day depends on your body composition first and foremost. What that means is, the more fat-free mass you have (the body weight you have that’s not made up of fat, e.g. muscle) is the main determinant of how many calories you’ll burn” says Dr Greg Potter, a nutritionist and chief science officer at Resilient Nutrition.

The concept of burning off the body’s energy stores while doing absolutely nothing is kind of exciting, until you realize how little you would have to eat in order to avoid putting on extra weight. This is why it’s important to look at your diet first if you’re looking to gain or lose weight.


Most people will burn about 1,800 – 2000 calories every day, doing nothing.

A study from the University of Cambridge, shows that muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue as it’s metabolically more active. This means it works more to grow, produce energy and eliminate waste material. So the more muscle you have, the larger amount of energy your body uses up (even during rest), which means your body burns calories effectively while doing nothing. 

Dr Potter explains, this is because we burn most of our calories just through daily bodily functions. “Our bodies have all sorts of different housekeeping functions they have to maintain even at rest. Just as the heart is always beating, the brain requires lots of energy. That resting energy expenditure actually makes up the majority of calories people burn each day,”.

Naturally, if you don’t exercise or have no active job then, you’re likely to burn less calories. While On average, someone with a job where they walk around for most of the day will do over 14,000 more steps than someone with a sedentary job. However, it’s a little bit more complicated than this. How many calories you’ll burn a day doing nothing, also depends largely on these three main factors as explained by the Mayo Clinic.

1. Age: The amount of muscle you have tends to decrease as your get older, how does this relate to the number of calories you burn doing nothing? This is because muscle tissue burns more calories and works more to grow, produce energy and eliminate waste material.

So, the more muscle you have, the larger amount of energy your body uses up (even while you are doing nothing), which means your body burns calories while you are doing nothing, while on the other hand, the less muscle tissue you have, the less amount of energy the body uses up thereby  slowing down the amount of calories you burn.

2. Weight/Height: The heavier you weigh, whether muscle mass or fat-mass, the more calories you’ll burn. Taller people tend to also weigh more because they are supporting more mass.

3. Sex: This tends to favor the male category the more as  men tend to have more muscle and less fat-mass when compared to women, meaning they are more likely to burn more calories while doing nothing.


Resting is an activity that everyone does, and whether you realize it or not, your body typically doesn’t use much energy while you are resting. There are some ways that your body is resting that can burn calories. For example, while you’re standing in line at the grocery store or a restaurant, your body is burning calories.

No matter which type of resting you’re doing, there are calculators to help you determine how many calories that you’re actually burning. However, this calculator uses  metabolic equivalent (MET) values to give you an accurate estimate of how many calories you can expect to burn for many different activities such as  resting. The higher the MET value, the more calories you will burn. Almost all activities that you can think of have MET values assigned to them. Let’s take a look at a few activities, their MET values and the  number of calories burned during the activity.

Type of Activity MET Calories Burned

Sleeping              0.95           68

Meditating                  1           72

Lying & watching television 1 72

Sitting quietly, general         1.3 93

Standing/ sitting quietly,   1.3 93

Lying quietly & doing nothing 1.3 93

Lying in bed awake              1.3 93

Standing, fidgeting              1.8 129

MET value is a ratio between the working metabolic rate and the resting metabolic rate, which is the rate of energy that is used relative to the duration of time spent doing activities such as resting.   A MET value of 1 is the equivalent of the amount of energy you expend while at rest, and a MET value of 2 means you are expending twice as much energy compared to being at rest. 


Asides the MET calculator, there are lots of other great calculators for calculating your calories while doing nothing. By using these calories calculator, you just need to fill some data and get the value of calories burned in Kcal

•  Calories Burned Pilates

•  Calories Burned Yoga

•  Calories Burned Walking

•  Calories Burned Running

•  Calories Burned Hiking

•  Calories Burned Elliptical

•  Calories Burned Weightlifting

•  Calories Burned Chopping Wood

•  Calories Burned From Archery

•  Calorie Deficit Calculator

•  Calories Burned Jump rope

•  Calories Burned Playing Badminton

•  Calories Burned Backpacking


The number of calories you burn while exercising is dependent on these factors.

1. The exercise you do

2. Your weight

3. The time spent doing the activity

P.S: By multiplying the body weight in kg by the MET value and duration of activity, you can estimate the energy expenditure in Kcal specific to a persons body weight. In this example, doing nothing at a 1.3 MET value, burns 1.3 Kcal/kg x body weight/h.


The question of how many Calories do I burn doing nothing is one you may likely be asking if you’d love to keep track of your weight at the moment, gain or even lose weight as the case may be. However, the answer to this question isn’t always same for everyone, that’s why we’ve taken the joy to write you this article to explain the concept as well as how you can calculate your weight while doing nothing.

In addition, Some activities like meditating involve your body being in a rested state. While meditating may not burn very many calories, it has mental and spiritual benefits that can have a positive effect on your daily life and well-being. Getting enough quality sleep is also an example of an essential type of resting that you must do. Getting enough sleep has been shown to speed up muscle recovery and provide you with more energy throughout the day.