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Energy requirements of physical activity

For the body to function it requires energy, even at rest. The energy or calories burned during rest and when we are active is known as our metabolic rate. The amount of energy our body requires depends on a number of factors including things like our height and weight, body composition and activity levels.

Energy is measured in calories, and calories are gained from the foods we eat. If we consume the same amount of calories that we use our weight will remain constant. This is known as an energy balance. If we consume more calories than we use then we will put on weight and visa versa as we no longer have an energy balance.

Different activities burn different amounts of energy or calories. The table below is based on the number of calories someone weighing 60kg would burn in an hour:

Activity Kilocalories used
Ironing 140
Cleaning and dusting 150
Vacuuming 210
Mowing lawn 330
Aerobics 450
Cycling 450
Walking (briskly) 300
Hiking 500
Jogging (5mph) 500
Jogging (6mph) 600
Rowing 550
Running 700
Squash 650
Swimming 500
Tennis 350
Football 700