Sexercise burns only 20 calories: A study
- Reported, February 04, 2013
It's one of those urban myths that we love to believe is true - that it's
possible to burn up to 300 calories during sex. But using a session between the
sheets as an excuse to skip the gym is not as foolproof as you might think. For
the average person burns a mere 21 calories during the average session,
David Allison, a biostatistician at the University of Alabama at Birmingham,
decided to investigate the claim as part of a study into widely-health beliefs.
He discovered that sex lasted six minutes on average - 'disappointing, isn't
it?' - and that the energy output equated to a paltry 20 or so calories - about
the same as walking.
The researchers found the average sex session was equivalent to a quick walk, if
that His report in today's New England Journal of Medicine says false
assumptions such as this are the part of the reason for the obesity crisis.Among
the other widely-held beliefs he investigated were whether snacking or skipping
breakfast is bad or whether physical education classes make a big difference to
Reviewing the best available research, he found that P.E. classes are are
typically not long or intense enough to make much difference.
And when it comes to skipping breakfast causing weight gain, he found it
ultimately depended depended on whether people were used to skipping breakfast
Furthermore, when it came to weight loss, he concluded that no 'high-quality
studies' had indicated snacking had a detrimental effect, and that people who
lost a lot of weight quickly could keep it off - and often ended up at a lower
weight than those who'd slimmed down slowly.
And rather than a recipe for failure, setting overly ambitious weight loss goals
could actually be incredibly motivating - and successful - for some people.
'The evidence is what matters,' said Dr Allison, adding that many well-meaning
health messages trotted out by experts simply don't stand up.