Dive MedicineDivingScuba Diving

How Many Calories Do You Burn During Scuba Diving?

Calories burned in 30 minutes for people of three different weights

Scientific research has shown that scuba diving is a low impact exercise activity that not only keeps you fit and healthy but also helps you lose weight! Diving is energy consuming – especially when the body is subject to significantly lower temperatures than normal – using more calories as needs are increased.

Facts and Figures

As a rough guide scuba diving can use from 400 to 700 calories each hour. The actual number of calories burned can change due to different conditions – such as water temperature, currents, and the amount of exercise carried out during the dive.

When measured in metabolic equivalents – METS – where one MET is defined as 1 Kcal/kg/hour, scuba diving has an average level of 7 METS with moderate scuba diving reaching 11.8 METS. And fast diving 15.8 METS.

Scuba diving provides a full body workout toning muscles and combining cardio and strength training. Diving through the water with increased energy demand and additional movement needed to overcome water resistance means a higher calorific burn. Deviations may occur due to:

  • When a diver is new – burning more calories as initially struggling against the water rather than gliding through
  • Speed of movement – the faster you go the more calories are expended
  • The weight and drag of the wetsuit – breathing above normal to counterbalance burning more calories overall
  • Constant manoeuvring through the water – needing motion from your entire body
  • Water temperature – three dives a day in the tropics can burn up to 900 extra calories

Calories Burning Table

While engaging in one of your favorite physical activities or exercises, you may have asked yourself, “How many calories do I burn while doing this?” Well, you may find your answer here. The table below lists the calories burned by doing for 30 minutes

30 min Activity 60 Kg Person70 Kg Person90 Kg Person
Scuba Diving210 Cal.252 Cal.300 Cal.
Sitting34 Cal.40 Cal.47 Cal.
Driving48 Cal.56 Cal.62 Cal.
Piano Playing75 Cal.81 Cal.88 Cal.
Cycling170 Cal.210 Cal.250 Cal.
Gymnastic240 Cal.288 Cal.320 Cal.
Golf275 Cal.298 Cal.352 Cal.
Horse Riding395 Cal.480 Cal.530 Cal.
Running240 Cal.288 Cal.320 Cal.
Source: Harvard Heath Publishing


There are a number of calorie-tracking tools available. But these can be misleading as they rarely factor in water temperature. PADI have numbers that you can relate to – estimating that an average shore dive in temperate waters can burn as many as 600 calories per hour.

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