Does Sitting in a Business Meeting Burn Much Energy?

Sitting in a business meeting burns energy. According to a calculation by the Economist, someone sitting through a 15 minute meeting may burn more calories than an Olympic sprinter running less than 30 seconds. The calculation does not however consider individual metabolic rates or include the calories burned by the athlete before and after the race.

An Olympic sprinter, Usain Bolt from Jamaica, completed a 100-meter sprint in less than 10 seconds in 2012, and completed it three different times to win the gold medal. At this rate of speed, the average adult would only burn about 30 calories, which is less than what an average adult burns during a 15 minute meeting. If individual metabolic rates and the calories burned by athletes before and after competition is considered, the results would most probably be vastly different.

More about burning energy:

  • Watching the Olympics on television uses about 1.5 calories per minute; therefore, a viewer would have to sit through about 50 figure skating routines just to burn the amount of energy that a figure skater uses for a three minute routine.

  • It would take the average office worker 14 hours of playing on his or her company softball team to burn the same amount of energy that an Olympic athlete uses in a training session.

  • Olympic badminton players burn energy at about the same rate as gymnasts: roughly 5.5 calories per minute.

Discussion Comments


It takes oxygen to burn energy in the body, so how much you breathe is a measure of how much energy you consume.

I don't think that a sitting person is breathing more deeply than a sprinter.

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