Does Brainwork Burn Calories?

  • By Lee Kum-sook

    March 30, 2021 08:23

    Does using your brain burn calories? The human brain weighs 1,400 g on average, accounting for around two percent of the total weight of an adult weighing 70 kg. But 20 percent of caloric intake is burned off by the brain.

    Na Min-kyun at Hanyang University Hospital said, "Thinking, reading and speaking cause the body to burn 1.5 kcal per minute, so using the brain intensively for eight hours at work has been reported to burn off another five percent of people's caloric intake."

    But can extra mental activity really result in weight loss? Na said no huge effect can be expected. If brain activity burns off 1.5 kcal a minute, walking burns off 4 kcal a minute and intense exercise 10 kcal.

    Then what about intense emotions? Na said, "That should result in the same amount of caloric consumption as thinking a lot because the area of the brain that controls emotions is stimulated."

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