to various estimates, of playing doubles tennis or walking uphill. The jogging, by comparison, was more strenuous, an 8.5-MET activity for the men in the study and 8.4 for women. (Though some men, according to their activity monitors, used more energy for brief periods during sex than they did jogging.) The sex also burned four calories per minute for men and three per minute for women, during sessions that ranged from 10 to 57 minutes, including foreplay. (The average was 25 minutes.) Men burned about 9 calories per minute jogging and women about 7.
Over all, the data reveal that "sex can be considered, at times, a significant exercise," Karelis said, worth encouraging in people who otherwise balk at working out. Ninety-eight percent of Karelis's volunteers reported that sex felt more fun than jogging. The other 2 percent, I suspect, will be back in the dating market soon.
Researchers calculated the amount of energy expended and calories burned during various physical activities by the volunteers in terms of metabolic equivalent of task or MET. They found:
Act of sex