Montreal (CBS ATLANTA) — Men expend significantly more energy and burn more calories during sexual intercourse than their female partners.

A study from the University of Quebec in Montreal studied 21 heterosexual couples between the ages of 18 and 35, and hooked the couples up to “SenseWear” armbands to track their caloric expenditure, temperature and skin responses as they engaged in sexual activity.

The recent study published in PLOS ONE found that sexual activity – or “sexercise” — can often be as effective as other forms of exercise such as walking. On average, men burned 101 calories – or 4.2 calories per minute – while women burned an average of 69 calories – or 3.1 calories per minute of sexual activity. However, jogging was found to burn more calories, with men expending 276 calories during a moderate-intensity jog.

The sex sessions in the study lasted an average of 24.7 minutes, with the shortest being 10 minutes and the longest extending for almost one hour.

Each person in the study completed a 30-minute job on a treadmill to give the researchers a base-level of calorie expenditure for comparison. For men, the highest range for energy expenditure could be higher during sex than during exercise. However, in women, exercise expended more energy than sex.

“Taken together, these results suggest that sexual activity may potentially be considered, at times, as a significant exercise,” wrote the researchers.

Nearly a quarter of the men (23.8 percent) in the study reported being “highly fatigued,” while only 14 percent of women perceived the same.

Both men and women reported an 81 percent perception of “high” personal pleasure for themselves, and women perceived their male partner’s pleasure to be about fifteen percent higher (85.7 versus 71.4) than men perceived their female partner’s pleasure.

The study concluded that energy expenditure during sex was approximately 85 calories – or 3.6 calories per minute when the sexual activity was performed “at a moderate intensity.”

–Benjamin Fearnow


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