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Calories Burned Swimming | Calculator & Formula

LAST UPDATE: April 20th, 2020

The average person burns 430-575 calories per hour swimming leisurely.

The number of calories you burn swimming will depend on your weight and the distance and speed you swim. A 150-pound (68kg) person swimming recreational backstroke will burn 344 calories per hour. A 200-pound (90.8kg) person swimming freestyle laps with vigorous effort will burn 935 calories per hour.

Calculator

How many calories are burned while swimming?

Formula

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).

Example

A person weighs 180 pounds (81.65kg) and does leisurely swimming (a task that has a MET value of 6.0) for 1 hour (60 minutes).

Calories Burned from leisurely swimming (per minute) = (6.0 x 81.65 x 3.5) ÷ 200 = 8.573

Calories Burned from leisurely swimming (for 60 minutes) = 8.573 x 60 = 514

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