Is Sex a Good Form of Exercise?

C. Price

Written by: C. Price

C. Price

C. Price is part of's content team. She writes advice articles, how-to guides, and studies — all relating to dating, relationships, love, sex, and more.

Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

Discuss This! Discuss This!
Advertiser Disclosure

The effectiveness of having sex as a means of exercise has long been debated among health experts.

One barrier in achieving truly accurate data has been the clinical environments in which testing has previously been conducted.

This has typically meant the participating couples would have to replicate their normal intimacy in a lab setting, usually while wired up to heavy equipment.

However, a new study from the University of Quebec at Montreal has incorporated some new technologies to hopefully pinpoint a clearer answer.

For both genders, the results showed sex proved far less beneficial than traditional exercise.

Men were found to expend more energy in general compared to women, with the sex sessions averaging less than 30 minutes.

“Sex proved far less beneficial

than traditional exercise.”

Men burned on average 276 calories on the treadmill but only 101 calories during sex. Women averaged 213 calories burnt on the treadmill and just 69 during sex.

The couples involved were monitored at a distance and from their own homes.

With each partner wearing an armband developed to track the body’s response to a sexual encounter, researchers enlisted 21 young heterosexual couples aged 18 to 35.

Each couple was asked to have sex four times in a month with the sensors in place. The device monitors temperature and skin response to track how the body is responding.

Before that, they were asked to spend half an hour each on a treadmill to form a baseline of their vitals. How each person’s body burned calories during the workout would be balanced against how they later burned calories during sex.

The findings for each subject were balanced against their session time and body weight for a more accurate reading.


Advertiser Disclosure is a free online resource that offers valuable content and comparison services to users. To keep this resource 100% free, we receive compensation from many of the offers listed on the site. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where products appear across the site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). does not include the entire universe of available offers. Editorial opinions expressed on the site are strictly our own and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by advertisers.

Our Editorial Review Policy

Our site is committed to publishing independent, accurate content guided by strict editorial guidelines. Before articles and reviews are published on our site, they undergo a thorough review process performed by a team of independent editors and subject-matter experts to ensure the content’s accuracy, timeliness, and impartiality. Our editorial team is separate and independent of our site’s advertisers, and the opinions they express on our site are their own. To read more about our team members and their editorial backgrounds, please visit our site’s About page.