If your lifestyle finds you seated in front of your computer for most of the day, that’s no reason to give up the quest for physical fitness. You can turn everyday activities into intense cardio sessions by simply understanding the calorie consumption of what you do.
Take, for example, that mouse that you use so often without even thinking about it. Every time you click the mouse button, you are expending energy. By determining how much energy you use, you can know how this activity fits into your weight-loss regimen.
According to Rhett Alain, associate professor of physics at Southeastern Louisiana University, it is an easy enough thing to calculate the calorie-burning power of mouse clicking. In an article for Wired, he ran through the math of this form of desktop exercise.
To burn one calorie, as physicists define it, you have to expend 4.184 joules. The “calorie” that appears on the nutrition labels for food and in diet calculations is, in reality, 1,000 calories (1 kilocalorie). That means you have to expend 4,184 joules to burn one of the types of calories that affect your waistline.
Alain determined that one click of a mouse button moves your finger about 1 millimeter. This equates to 0.0005 joules of energy expenditure or 10-7 kilocalories.
Using this information, we can do the math to conclude that all you have to do for that one-kilocalorie cardio burn is a paltry 10 million clicks of the mouse. How long will it take you to do that? Assuming you can click ten times per second, you’ll be done with this workout after 11.5 days.
In other words, if you feel guilty about ingesting the 140 kilocalories from a 12-ounce can of Coca-Cola, you can compensate for this indulgence by clicking away, nonstop, for the next 1,610 days.
Armed with this knowledge, be sure to stock up on sports drinks, get yourself a good sweatband, and click your way to that physique you have always wanted.