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University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

Keeping track of calories burned

In the 10 minutes it takes to read this article, you'll expend about 15 calories, assuming you are sitting upright and weigh 150 pounds. If you are reading this while lying down, you will burn even less. If you plan to spend the next hour leaning over a casino table, you will burn 156 calories. Praying to hit the jackpot? Praying (while kneeling) is 68 calories.

Scientists have assigned a calorie value to a dizzying array of activities. Cleaning out an illegal dump site: 450 calories. Painting over graffiti: 342. Digging for worms: 272.

"People have measured just about everything," says John Porcari, an exercise researcher at the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse....