A calorie is a unit of heat energy that is commonly used to measure the energy obtained from food. One unit calorie is the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of one kilogram of water by one degree Celsius. Generally, the unit calorie is used during discussions of diet and nutrition as a way of measuring the nutritional content of various food products. Each individual food product has a specific number of calories. For every 3,500 calories consumed, the body puts on 1 lb. of weight. Most nutritionists recommend a daily calorie intake of 2,000 calories for individuals, but this number varies slightly based on the weight and height of each person.
The human body burns calories throughout the day regardless of the type of activity. In fact, the body even burns calories during the leisurely hours of sleep. However, vigorous activities such as biking or swimming burn more calories than milder activities such as reading or sitting. A day without exercise still consists of many calorie-burning activities including driving, sitting, standing, walking, reading, writing, talking on the phone, showering and sleeping.
On average a person sleeps eight hours a day which equals about 380 calories burned. The other 16 hours of the day are spent doing any one of the above listed activities for an average of 96 minutes each. Given the activity and the amount of time spent performing it, the average person burns about 2,000 calories a day without exercise. However, it should be noted that this number varies slightly depending on the individual’s metabolism and calorie intake needs.