You’re sitting in afternoon traffic, pressing the gas, brake and clutch and wondering if you should start bicycling to work. But then again, there might be some advantage to driving – perhaps you’re even working your calf muscles by pressing the clutch or something? You wonder how many calories do you burn by driving. As you may have guessed, the answer is – not many.
Unless you are a racing or rally driver, you will not burn an appreciable amount of calories by operating your vehicle. This is especially true for modern cars with power brakes and steering, which require little or no body strength. If you would like to turn your driving into a workout, then get a light van, and have the power steering removed. You will soon start sweating those calories just from taking a corner. Keep in mind though that this is likely not to be legal.
People who drive stick will burn a very small amount of calories more than those who prefer automatic cars, due to the motion of your left leg on the clutch. You will also burn slightly more the more you have to concentrate – such as in a busy city. However, this is barely measurable, even over the course of an entire day. In summary, you will not burn any more calories driving than you would by sitting on the couch. So stop making excuses and start jogging instead.