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I need to know how many calories one would burn if they just sat at a desk all the time on their 9-5.

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Quite enough, actually, if they restrict what they eat. You can out-eat any amount of exercise. –  Boris Jul 15 '12 at 21:53
@Boris If I understand you correctly as saying that totally sedentary people burn enough calories, with the corollary that exercise is irrelevant, then I wish I could downvote your comment. If I misunderstand then nevermind. –  Dave Liepmann Jul 16 '12 at 2:41
I think it's important to keep in mind the fact that calories are not the only important aspect of a diet, and that sitting at a desk all day has negative effects beyond the caloric. –  Dave Liepmann Jul 16 '12 at 2:44
What is the purpose of this question? Is there a reason why you "need to know" how many calories you burn when sitting for 8 hours a day? –  Matt Chan Jul 16 '12 at 16:44
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closed as not a real question by Ivo Flipse Jul 16 '12 at 21:01

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2 Answers

To calculate the amount of calories you burn on a daily basis you can add your BMR and activity calorie expenditure.

Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is the amount of energy your body requires at rest just to maintain your bodily functions. The BMR is expressed in calories. You can roughly calculate your BMR with an online BMR calculator using your gender, weight, height and age.

Activity Calorie Expenditure - Next you can use the calorie activity calculator, entering your weight and the number of minutes "studying" to determine the additional calories you spend while sitting at your desk.

For example, a 35 y.o., 5' 7" man weighing 150#, would have a BMR of 1597 to 1611.0 calories depending on the calculator used. Desk work for 8 hrs (or 480 minutes) adds ~ 1,008 calories for a total of 2619 calories per day (if my math is right). For metric values, here is a metric BMR calculator.

Realize that these calculators are approximations and do not take into account your body fat percentage.

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A calculator can be useful in figuring this out. Visit this link: http://www.healthstatus.com/calculate/cbc to calculate calorie burn based on your weight.

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