How Many Calories Do You Burn Behind the Wheel?

After last week’s heat wave, it looks like the summer months will soon be upon us! And with this time of year comes panic for those of us who failed to uphold our New Year’s Resolutions of avoiding the chocolate, or hitting the gym every night (we knew neither was ever likely). However, it’s not all doom and gloom, particularly if you find yourself driving often. Indeed, our latest research has found that you burn more than you think when you’re behind the wheel, which would explain the constant temptation to pull into every motorway services which passes by. So if you’re looking to get beach body ready for the summer, perhaps you’re on the road already? Read on to see how far you would need to drive to burn the equivalent calories to a workout, or how far excuses one of your favourite snacks!

Andrew Jervis, Co-Founder of ClickMechanic, says: “We’re all aware of how physically fit professional racing car drivers have to be to endure the g-forces on a track for long periods of time. Although it’s not as intense, everyday drivers also face these forces on the road and will inevitably burn calories whilst travelling. It’s interesting to see just how far you would need to drive to burn the equivalent calories to a workout; if you drive long-distance on a daily basis, you may be burning more than you think!”

General Running = Driving London to Edinburgh

Running for one hour burns an average of 490 calories per hour for a man and 400 calories per hour for a woman. That’s the equivalent of 7 hours of driving, or in terms of travelling in the UK, driving from London to Edinburgh.

This may seem like a long distance, however, it is a decent number of calories. This drive would technically excuse an extra 5 bananas or just under 2 hamburgers from McDonald’s. And that’s not even counting the time spent in traffic!

Playing Tennis = Driving Glasgow to Oxford

Burning an average of 420 calories per hour for a man and 343 calories per hour for a woman, tennis is a fairly rigorous workout. You would have to drive for 6 hours, or the distance between Glasgow and Oxford to use up the same amount of energy.

It’s the equivalent of over 3 glasses of red wine or roughly 2 Krispy Kreme Original Glazed doughnuts. No wonder John Isner once said he could have ‘eaten 12 Big Macs’ after the longest recorded tennis match!

Dancing = Driving Cardiff to Sheffield

Based on general dancing (sadly not as intense as the picture above!), the average man burns 245 calories per hour compared to 200 calories per hour for a woman. That’s the equivalent of 3 and a half hours of driving, or from Cardiff to Sheffield.

This drive would excuse you of about 4 Tesco Custard Cream Biscuits or, for a healthier option, 5 apples. Sadly to match the calories burned in the final scene of Dirty Dancing, you may have to drive a little further!

Swimming = Driving Norwich to Exeter

In one hour of swimming, the average man will burn 350 calories, whereas a woman will burn 286 calories. To clock as many on the road, you would need to drive from Norwich to Exeter and build up a total of 5 hours behind the wheel!

Such a drive would burn through 2 and a half cans of Coca Cola or roughly 10 carrots; so your hunger is not unfounded as you pass those services!

Yoga = Driving Birmingham to Portsmouth

Whilst having a reputation for relaxation, yoga does take a fair amount of energy to perform. The average man will burn 210 calories per hour, whilst women will burn 171 calories. This is the equivalent to a 3 hour drive in the car, such as from Birmingham to Portsmouth.

Spending 3 hours behind the wheel may seem like a long time, but for some, this would be achieved during the daily commute. It would excuse an extra Grande Cafè Latte from Starbucks or a Cadbury Crunchie Bar. Just remember to stretch!