The average person burns 165-220 calories per hour doing mild stretching.
How many calories are burned while stretching?
Calories burned per minute = (MET x body weight in Kg x 3.5) ÷ 200
“MET” is a measurement of the energy cost of physical activity for a period of time. You can find an activity’s MET on the chart above.
A task with a MET of 1 is roughly equal to a person’s energy expenditure from sitting still at room temperature not actively digesting food.
A task with a MET of 2 uses twice as much energy as a task with a MET of 1. A task with a MET of 10 uses 10 times as much energy as a task with a MET of 1.
MET values “do not estimate the energy cost of physical activity in individuals in ways that account for differences in body mass, adiposity, age, sex, efficiency of movement, geographic and environmental conditions in which the activities are performed. Thus, individual differences in energy expenditure for the same activity can be large and the true energy cost for an individual may or may not be close to the stated mean MET level as presented in the Compendium.” (as quoted from the main page of the Compendium of Physical Activities).
A person weighs 180 pounds (81.65kg) and does mild stretching (a task that has a MET value of 2.3) for 1 hour (60 minutes).
Calories Burned from mild stretching (per minute) = (2.3 x 81.65 x 3.5) ÷ 200 = 3.286
Calories Burned from mild stretching (for 60 minutes) = 3.286 x 60 = 197
Table – Calories burned stretching per minute, by pounds
Does stretching burn calories?
Yes, stretching burns calories, but not many. The average burns 80-120 calories for every 30 minutes of stretching. As a comparison, sitting for 30 minutes will burn 35-50 calories.
How many calories do you burn in 5 minutes of stretching?
For the average person, 5 minutes of stretching will burn 14-18 calories.
How many calories do you burn in 15 minutes of stretching?
For the average person, 15 minutes of stretching will burn 40-55 calories.
How many calories do you burn in 30 minutes of stretching?
For the average person, 30 minutes of stretching will burn 80-120 calories.
Sources and External Resources
- Ainsworth BE, Haskell WL, Herrmann SD, Meckes N, Bassett Jr DR, Tudor-Locke C, Greer JL, Vezina J, Whitt-Glover MC, Leon AS. The Compendium of Physical Activities Tracking Guide. Healthy Lifestyles Research Center, College of Nursing & Health Innovation, Arizona State University. Retrieved May 11, 2015, from the World Wide Web.
- Arizona State University Healthy Lifestyles Research Center – Compendium of Physical Activities – Conditioning Exercise – Provides MET values for conditioning exercises, including stretching.
- Learn about “MET” and the compendium of physical activities from Arizona State University, University or South Carolina, and Wikipedia. There is a summary of general physical activities defined by intensity from the CDC and the Harvard School of Public Health.
- Recommendations on physical activity for health from the Harvard School of Public Health and the WHO.
- Find out about the health benefits of stretching with “The importance of stretching” by Harvard Health Publishing, “Stretching: Focus on flexibility” by the Mayo Clinic, and “Why stretching is extremely important” by UC Davis Student Health and Counselling Services.
- Read some of the science behind stretching with “Streching: Mechanisms and Benefits for Sport Performance and Injury Prevention” by Weerapong, Hume, & Kolt, “Four-Week Dynamic Stretching Warm-up Intervention Elicits Longer-Term Performance Benefits” by Herman & Smith, and “Warm-Up and Stretching in the Prevention of Muscular Injury” by Woods, Bishop, & Jones.
- Learn to stretch properly with “How to Stretch Properly: The Do’s And Don’t Of Stretching” by John Paul Catanzaro of BodyBuilding.com, “The Truth About Stretching” by Sonya Collins of WebMD, “15 Stretches You Should Do Every Day” by Mallory Creveling of Health.com and Life By Daily Burn, and “Stretching 101: Benefits and Proper Techniques” by Laura Inverarity, DO.