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Fighting Obesity with Everyday Activities

Fighting Obesity with Everyday Activities


With the constant automation of tasks and the plethora of fast food options available throughout the United States, many U.S. citizens are becoming overweight and even obese. In fact, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, almost one third (32 percent) of non-institutionalized adults over 20 are obese and just about two-thirds (66.3 percent) of this same group of U.S. adults are overweight.

Although genetics and other internal factors play a role in weight, the bulk of what contributes to a person's weight is the simple calculation of calories in versus calories out. This medical theory basically states that weight gain, weight loss, and weight maintenance is based on the number of calories a person consumes versus the number of calories a person burns in daily activity. For example, if a man eats 2,000 in calories in a day, he would need to burn, through exercise and other everyday activities, 2,000 to maintain his weight. To lose a pound in a week, without decreasing his caloric intake, he would need to burn an additional 500 calories per day (since one pound equals 3,500 calories).

But with today's busy lifestyles, how can someone find time to burn calories and fight the growing obesity epidemic? If you aren't a good candidate for a bariatric surgery procedure such as LAP-BAND® surgery or gastric bypass surgery, can't afford a gym membership or if you just can't find the time to go to the gym, there are a lot of other activities that can help you burn calories.

There are some baseline activities that everyone does that burn calories. Now, these will most likely not be what help you lose weight, but you should consider their impact when calculating your calories burned. Below is the breakdown of calories burned by some everyday activities (calculations based on a 165 pound person):

  • Sleeping - 69 calories per hour
  • Sitting - 79 calories per hour
  • Reading - 79 calories per hour
  • Talking on phone - 79 calories per hour
  • Writing - 79 calories per hour
  • Standing - 89 calories per hour
  • Studying - 139 calories per hour
  • Driving - 158 calories per hour
  • Showering - 317 calories per hour

In addition to the above activities, which most people do every day without thinking about, there are many other everyday activities that can help you burn calories. Here are some of those activities and their calories burned:

  • Ironing - 168 calories per hour
  • Washing dishes - 168 calories per hour
  • Shopping - 178 calories per hour
  • Walking 2 mph - 208 calories per hour
  • Housework - 218 calories per hour
  • Stretching - 297 calories per hour
  • Raking lawn - 297 calories per hour
  • Sexual intercourse - 317 calories per hour
  • Walking 3 mph - 327 calories per hour
  • Washing car - 337 calories per hour
  • Walking 4 mph - 386 calories per hour

Now, "no time for the gym" is no longer an excuse to burn calories. Be sure to fit in these and other everyday activities into your day, and take a pass on the drive-thru every once in a while.

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