thrusting sex machine
Broadly speaking, exercise is defined as any activity that requires physical effort to help you maintain or improve your overall health. In that sense, sex is certainly exercise!
Sex certainly involves some degree of physical labor, and there's plenty of scientific evidence that sex is good for our health. In addition, sexual activity can reduce stress, improve mental health, lower the risk of heart attack and extend life expectancy.
But how much exercise do we get from sex? Like how much does it raise your heart rate? How many calories will you burn?
A recent paper published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior attempts to answer these questions through a systematic review of the scientific literature. The authors identified 18 studies published between 1956 and 2020 and provided insights.
While 18 studies sounds like a lot, the total number of participants in all the studies was just 349, with 264 men and 85 women. In addition, all of the reviewed studies seem to focus specifically on the physiological requirements of sexual intercourse (penile-vagina).
This is an important context to keep in mind. There is little data on women, and little data on people of different genders and sexual orientations. In addition, we don't know how different the outcomes are for behaviors other than sexual intercourse (such as solo masturbation, oral sex, anal sex, etc.). Will.
Given this background, we know that:
1.How many calories does sex Burn?
Only two of the 18 studies seem to have assessed this. One group reported an average energy expenditure of 130 calories; However, the study included only eight participants, only one of whom was a woman.
Another study involving 21 heterosexual couples found that men burned an average of 101 calories while women burned an average of 69 calories during intercourse.
So the best answer we can get from this is that a person probably consumes about 100 calories during sex, give or take. But that number obviously varies by sex, and can vary by many other factors, such as the duration of intercourse.
Heterosexuals, on average, said they spent a total of about 20 minutes on intercourse and foreplay, but some spent much less and others much more.
2.How does sex affect heart rate?
Many studies have assessed heart rate during sex, and the results vary widely. The average heart rate is between 90 and 130 beats per minute. Peak heart rate is 145-170 beats per minute.
In studies of men and women, men had higher average heart rates than women. Some studies also consider sexual positions; However, the results were inconsistent. Some noted that men's heart rates were higher when they were at the top (relative to their partners), but others found the opposite pattern.
3.What are the physical needs of sex?
Another thing the authors looked at was the "kinematics" of sex, which is the extent to which sex exerts stress or force on various parts of the body. Only three studies looked at different positions, but the missionary position (for both men and women) and the lateral decubitus position (for men only) put the most pressure on the lower back (lumbar spine).
There are also three positions that put more pressure on the rotator cuff (shoulders). Here are (from smallest to largest):
Scorpions (Imagine the position of a unicycle
Superman (visually a bit like a dog standing position. One man holds his partner up in the air with his arms on their hips. It is called superman for several reasons. Yes, it's a power test! The other is that the person suspended in the air might spread out his arms and look like Superman flying in the sky.)
Understanding kinematics can help us determine which positions might be safer or more dangerous for a person based on existing injuries and abilities.
According to the authors, for most people, sex can be classified as "moderate physical activity," similar to the intensity required for light jogging, rowing, or swimming.
Sex gets our heart rates up and, on average, seems to burn about 100 calories. However, the position people try, the intensity of sex, and the duration of activity can all change energy expenditure.
More research is needed on women and people of different genders and sexual orientations. In addition to penile-vaginal intercourse, we also need to record the energy demands of sexual activity. So if you're looking for a research idea, there's plenty to learn from!