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

  • Not enough, so do some exercise
    – Ivo Flipse
    Jul 15, 2012 at 19:02
  • Quite enough, actually, if they restrict what they eat. You can out-eat any amount of exercise.
    – Boris
    Jul 15, 2012 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. Jul 16, 2012 at 2:41
  • 1
    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. Jul 16, 2012 at 2:44
  • 3
    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?
    – user241
    Jul 16, 2012 at 16:44

2 Answers 2


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.


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.