Discover what's new & improved in the MyFitnessPal app!
We’re dedicated to helping you achieve your health and nutrition goals. And our newest features and updates? They do just that. Learn how we're making tracking your progress easier, faster, and more motivating than ever.

Does Driving Actually Burn Calories?

Options
1235»

Replies

  • stealthq
    stealthq Posts: 4,298 Member
    Options
    jetlag wrote: »
    Well, yes, because you burn calories every minute of every day. EVERYTHING burns calories.

    I suspect that driving doesn't burn many more calories than sitting down, however, especially if you drive an automatic, so I wouldn't be inclined to log it.

    Yep.

    I mean, unless you're normally lying down all day. Anyone have their calorie goal set to BMR - deficit? Then you're good to log driving.
  • VeryKatie
    VeryKatie Posts: 5,953 Member
    edited April 2017
    Options
    Annnnddd those people who log it as exercise probably are the ones posting on the forums "Help I'm not losing weight!" Or "Help! I'm eating a deficit but GAINING weight".

    ETA: Unless it's the golf thing. But even then I think that's pushing it.
  • brznhabits
    brznhabits Posts: 126 Member
    edited April 2017
    Options
    Only if you also sing for those 7 hours :p

    It does burn a little more (compared to sitting at work on a non-challenging brain day), I know because when I road trip I know I burn a little bit more. Though it could be my excellent singing.
  • PAV8888
    PAV8888 Posts: 13,993 Member
    edited April 2017
    Options
    Nice necro-tread revival.

    The answer is that you (should) log the (actual) calories you burn in excess of what you told MFP you were going to burn.

    It really doesn't matter one bit (for the purpose of the accuracy of the calculation) whether the calories got spent naval gazing or pulling on a rope attached to a jumbo jet, or to a buddy who fell down a cliff!

    Sitting, quietly, watching tv, watching a movie, talking on the phone are all activities that burn approximately 1.3x to 1.5x BMR. https://sites.google.com/site/compendiumofphysicalactivities/Activity-Categories/inactivity

    You will note that MFP's SEDENTARY setting is set at 1.25x BMR.

    As such you will need a LOT of minutes of such activities before you see a divergence worth taking a note off.

    Driving on the other hand seems to be classified as an activity that burns approximately 2.5x BMR https://sites.google.com/site/compendiumofphysicalactivities/Activity-Categories/transportation

    Looking at the history (1993, 2000, 2011), it seems that driving a car has gone up from being a MET 2 activity to becoming a MET 2.5 activity, and driving a semi (truck) seems to have decreased from a MET 3 activity to a MET 2.5 activity over time (probably in response to technological change).

    Be that as it may, it looks like driving takes appreciably more effort than sitting quietly.

    Admittedly, driving down the freeway on cruise control vs driving in the downtown core of a major city probably requires different amounts of effort.

    This would be similar to people who log "vigorous swimming freestyle 2 hours". Really? You were swimming non stop and vigorously for the full two hours? Unless you're already sponsored... I have some doubts about that! So, buyer beware, and it is up to you to determine how long you actively engaged in the particular activity you're logging!

    Having said that, if you're setup on MFP as sedentary, and drive for half a day non stop, I would expect that logging a driving activity would probably make more sense than not.

    If you're set as "very active" on MFP (BMR x 1.8)... probably NOT logging would make sense. When you're asleep you're actually only spending BMR x 0.95, but MFP expects you to be spending 1.8xBMR 24/7/365 based on your activity settings... so you have some serious catching up to do to end up with an average level of activity of BMR x 1.8 over the 24 hours of the day.

    It is all a numbers game and in the end your trending weight and fat % are the final arbiters of your logging, not whether you "should" be logging something or not because it matches a particular definition.
  • Nony_Mouse
    Nony_Mouse Posts: 5,646 Member
    Options
    PAV8888 wrote: »
    Nice necro-tread revival.

    The answer is that you (should) log the (actual) calories you burn in excess of what you told MFP you were going to burn.

    It really doesn't matter one bit (for the purpose of the accuracy of the calculation) whether the calories got spent naval gazing or pulling on a rope attached to a jumbo jet, or to a buddy who fell down a cliff!

    Sitting, quietly, watching tv, watching a movie, talking on the phone are all activities that burn approximately 1.3x to 1.5x BMR. https://sites.google.com/site/compendiumofphysicalactivities/Activity-Categories/inactivity

    You will note that MFP's SEDENTARY setting is set at 1.25x BMR.

    As such you will need a LOT of minutes of such activities before you see a divergence worth taking a note off.

    Driving on the other hand seems to be classified as an activity that burns approximately 2.5x BMR https://sites.google.com/site/compendiumofphysicalactivities/Activity-Categories/transportation

    Looking at the history (1993, 2000, 2011), it seems that driving a car has gone up from being a MET 2 activity to becoming a MET 2.5 activity, and driving a semi (truck) seems to have decreased from a MET 3 activity to a MET 2.5 activity over time (probably in response to technological change).

    Be that as it may, it looks like driving takes appreciably more effort than sitting quietly.

    Admittedly, driving down the freeway on cruise control vs driving in the downtown core of a major city probably requires different amounts of effort.

    This would be similar to people who log "vigorous swimming freestyle 2 hours". Really? You were swimming non stop and vigorously for the full two hours? Unless you're already sponsored... I have some doubts about that! So, buyer beware, and it is up to you to determine how long you actively engaged in the particular activity you're logging!

    Having said that, if you're setup on MFP as sedentary, and drive for half a day non stop, I would expect that logging a driving activity would probably make more sense than not.

    If you're set as "very active" on MFP (BMR x 1.8)... probably NOT logging would make sense. When you're asleep you're actually only spending BMR x 0.95, but MFP expects you to be spending 1.8xBMR 24/7/365 based on your activity settings... so you have some serious catching up to do to end up with an average level of activity of BMR x 1.8 over the 24 hours of the day.

    It is all a numbers game and in the end your trending weight and fat % are the final arbiters of your logging, not whether you "should" be logging something or not because it matches a particular definition.

    Dammit, I just moved so that I don't have to drive for 1 1/2 - 2 hours every day!! Of course I will be replacing that driving with walking to work instead, so...
  • PAV8888
    PAV8888 Posts: 13,993 Member
    Options
    Nony_Mouse wrote: »
    Dammit, I just moved so that I don't have to drive for 1 1/2 - 2 hours every day!! Of course I will be replacing that driving with walking to work instead, so...

    Oh, Nony, walking is WAY more fun ;-)
    https://sites.google.com/site/compendiumofphysicalactivities/Activity-Categories/walking
  • Nony_Mouse
    Nony_Mouse Posts: 5,646 Member
    Options
    PAV8888 wrote: »
    Nony_Mouse wrote: »
    Dammit, I just moved so that I don't have to drive for 1 1/2 - 2 hours every day!! Of course I will be replacing that driving with walking to work instead, so...

    Oh, Nony, walking is WAY more fun ;-)
    https://sites.google.com/site/compendiumofphysicalactivities/Activity-Categories/walking

    Oh believe me, I know!! I am an avid walker and day hiker.
  • Packerjohn
    Packerjohn Posts: 4,855 Member
    edited April 2017
    Options
    Awfy wrote: »
    I would have agreed with all of you, except I've recently driven 1,000 miles over 2 days, eating fairly normally, and found I had lost nearly 2 kg. Admittedly it was a stressful drive, with girlfriend arguing with me and satnav, heavy rain, car misbehaving, etc!
    I've checked a couple of calorie databases and both give figures around 150-170 cph.
    (Driving back on my own with only satnav for company only earned me 1kg weight loss)
    Why not check it out yourselves?

    @Awfy Just no.

    You did not lost 2kg of fat over 2 days driving. That would mean you burned an extra 12-15,000+ calories, around the same as running 4 or 5 marathons.
  • Francl27
    Francl27 Posts: 26,371 Member
    Options
    Packerjohn wrote: »
    Awfy wrote: »
    I would have agreed with all of you, except I've recently driven 1,000 miles over 2 days, eating fairly normally, and found I had lost nearly 2 kg. Admittedly it was a stressful drive, with girlfriend arguing with me and satnav, heavy rain, car misbehaving, etc!
    I've checked a couple of calorie databases and both give figures around 150-170 cph.
    (Driving back on my own with only satnav for company only earned me 1kg weight loss)
    Why not check it out yourselves?

    @Awfy Just no.

    You did not lost 2kg of fat over 2 days driving. That would mean you burned an extra 12-15,000+ calories, around the same as running 4 or 5 marathons.

    People just need to stop thinking that weight loss is linear and that your weight loss or gain will directly reflect what you ate the day before. That's just not how it works.

    I lost 3 lbs the day I drove back from my vacation too (7 hours), but it's because I just happened to drop water weight that day. The drive had no impact whatsoever with the weight loss (except the part where I had to stop every hour to pee). The actual fat loss happened in the WEEKS before that drive.