Can Sex Actually Count As Exercising? Let's Break It Down!


Many think that sex may replace physical activity since, you know, it requires lots of physical effort... But let's let the science answer this time.

There was actually a study on determining energy expenditure in kilocalories (kcal) during sexual activity.

The study population consisted of twenty-one young heterosexual couples. First, all participants completed a 30 min endurance exercise session on a treadmill at a moderate intensity.

The couples were then asked to engage in sexual activity at least once a week.

Free-living energy expenditure during sexual activity and the endurance exercise were measured using the portable mini SenseWear armband. Perceived energy expenditure, the perception of effort, fatigue, and pleasure were also assessed after sexual activity.

A month later, the scientists began to gather the data.

According to the results, while men burned 4 calories per minute, women reached 3. This equals to the calories burned per minute while playing tennis.

Briefly, only 5% of all participants reported that sexual activity was more strenuous when compared to the 30 min treadmill exercise.

19% of all participants reported that they were highly fatigued and 7% reported high energy was expended after sexual activity. But strangely, approximately 98% of all participants reported that sexual activity was more pleasant than the 30 min treadmill exercise.

But there are other dynamics to be counted.

Apparently, the duration of sexual activity was between 2 and 6 minutes amongst the participants which means 20-30 calories being burned each time. This makes sex quite an inefficient exercise, unfortunately.

However, both men and women reported that sexual activity was a highly enjoyable and more appreciated than the 30 min exercise session on the treadmill.

Surprising? No.

Not to forget that sexual activity is an important and relevant activity to human life and appears to impact on the mental, physical, and social health as well as on the quality of life of the individual.

Just do not eat like crazy after sex, you might not have burned that many calories. But keep on doing it and stay healthy!

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