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Calories You'll Burn by Playing a Video Game for One Hour

This probably won't come as a surprise to anyone, but playing games doesn't use that much energy. A study in the Journal of Pediatrics found that adults playing sedentary games (the study used Disney's Extreme Skate Adventure) only burn 10% more calories than people who are just watching TV. Moving to something like Wii Fit or Dance Central burned 160.2 calories – just over 2.5 times more – with children nearly doubling that every hour.


To put all that in perspective, here's some calorie-burning figures for everyday activities:

  • Sleeping, between 40 and 80 calories per hour.
  • Running, can burn a whopping 900 calories per hour or more.
  • Sex is extremely variable because it depends on level of physical activity, but most people won't burn more than 80 calories per session.

Keep in mind that all of these numbers vary wildly from person to person. As a general rule the heavier you are, the more energy it will take just to exist. Children are an outlier here because they are both more active and are constantly using a good chunk of power to keep themselves growing.

You're reading Numbers, a blog on Kotaku that examines games and culture through the lens of math and statistics. To contact the author of this post, write to or find him on Twitter @dcstarkey.

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