How Many Calories Does Scuba Diving Burn?

Scuba diving is not only a thrilling adventure but also a great way to burn calories. Depending on various factors such as dive time, difficulty, and environmental conditions, scuba diving can help you burn between 300 to 600 calories per dive. With a MET value of 7.0, scuba diving uses up to 7 times as many calories as resting, making it an effective low-impact exercise activity for weight loss.

Factors like water temperature, currents, exercise intensity, and equipment weight can influence the calorie burn during scuba diving. Additionally, individual factors such as weight, gender, physical makeup, and age can impact the number of calories burned too.

So, if you’re looking for a unique and exciting way to stay fit and shed some pounds, scuba diving might just be the perfect activity for you.

how many calories does scuba diving burn

Key Takeaways

  • Scuba diving can burn between 300 to 600 calories per dive, depending on various factors such as dive time, diver’s weight, dive difficulty, and environmental factors.
  • Calorie burn during scuba diving is mainly attributed to activities like fin kicking, staying warm, carrying scuba gear, and breathing at higher depths.
  • Scuba diving is considered a low impact exercise activity that can aid in weight loss.
  • Factors like water temperature, currents, exercise intensity, and individual factors like weight, gender, physical makeup, and age can affect calorie burn during a dive.
  • Adding calorie burn to dive logs and using calorie-tracking tools can help monitor calorie expenditure during a dive.

Factors Affecting Calorie Burn in Scuba Diving

The number of calories burned during a dive can vary depending on several factors. Understanding these factors can help divers estimate their calorie expenditure and plan their diving activities accordingly.

1. Dive Time

The duration of a dive plays a significant role in determining the calorie burn. Longer dives generally result in a higher calorie expenditure. This is because the body continuously works to maintain body temperature, perform fin kicking movements, and carry scuba gear throughout the dive.

2. Diver’s Weight

A diver’s weight also impacts the calorie burn during scuba diving. Heavier individuals tend to burn more calories due to the increased effort required to move through the water. On the other hand, lighter individuals may burn fewer calories during the same dive.

3. Dive Difficulty

The difficulty level of a dive can affect the calorie burn. Challenging dives that require constant maneuvering and navigation demand more energy expenditure, resulting in a higher calorie burn. On the contrary, easier dives with minimal physical exertion may result in a lower calorie burn.

4. Environmental Factors

The environment in which the dive takes place can influence the calorie burn. Factors such as water temperature and currents can impact the body’s energy expenditure. Cold water can cause the body to burn more calories as it tries to maintain warmth, while strong currents can require additional effort to navigate through.

Activities Contributing to Calorie Burn in Scuba Diving

Various activities during a dive contribute to calorie burn, making it an excellent choice for those looking to combine exercise with their passion for underwater exploration.

1. Fin Kicking

Whether you’re exploring a vibrant coral reef or swimming against a gentle current, the continuous movement of your legs propelling you forward helps to engage the muscles in your lower body. The repetitive motion of fin kicking can burn a significant amount of calories, especially during longer dives.

2. Staying Warm

Maintaining body temperature is essential during scuba diving, particularly in colder waters. The body expends energy to generate heat and keep you warm in the water. Thermogenesis, the process of heat production, is one of the most significant contributors to calorie burn during diving. Therefore, diving in lower temperatures can increase caloric needs and further enhance the calorie-burning potential of the activity.

3. Dehydration

Scuba diving can lead to dehydration due to the dry air in the tank and the physical exertion involved. The body uses energy to regulate its internal temperature and combat the dry environment, resulting in additional calorie burn. Staying hydrated before, during, and after dives is important to maintain optimal performance and ensure adequate calorie expenditure.

4. Carrying Scuba Gear

Carrying scuba gear, including tanks and wetsuits, requires physical exertion and can contribute to calorie burn. The weight and drag of the equipment increase the intensity of the workout, engaging muscles and burning additional calories. The more gear you carry, the more energy your body expends, leading to a higher calorie burn during the dive.

5. Breathing at Higher Depths

Breathing at higher depths requires more effort due to the increased pressure. The respiratory muscles work harder to draw in air, resulting in an elevated calorie burn. The deeper you dive, the more energy your body needs to supply oxygen to your muscles, thus increasing calorie expenditure.

Fitness Benefits of Scuba Diving

Scuba diving offers a wide range of fitness and health benefits that go beyond the adrenaline rush.

Let’s dive into the top benefits that scuba diving has to offer:

  1. Full-Body Workout: Scuba diving engages various muscle groups in your body, including your core, arms, legs, and back. The constant movement against water resistance helps to improve muscle strength and endurance.
  2. Cardiovascular Health: The underwater environment challenges your cardiovascular system, increasing your heart rate and improving overall cardiovascular fitness.
  3. Improved Flexibility: The buoyancy in water allows for more fluid movements, enhancing your flexibility and joint mobility.
  4. Stress Relief: Being immersed in the underwater world helps to reduce stress and anxiety, promoting mental well-being.
  5. Low Impact: Unlike many land-based exercises, scuba diving is low impact, making it suitable for people with joint issues or injuries.

Tips for Monitoring and Tracking Caloric Expenditure

By adding calorie burn to your dive logs and utilizing calorie-tracking tools, you can gain insights into your energy expenditure during diving sessions and make informed decisions about your routine.

Adding Calorie Burn to Dive Logs

Keep a record of the duration of your dives, the difficulty level, and any environmental factors that may affect calorie burn, such as currents and water temperature. By noting these details in your dive logs, you can have a better understanding of the calories you’re burning during each dive.

Calorie-Tracking Tools

In addition to dive logs, using calorie-tracking tools can provide a more accurate measurement of your caloric expenditure during dives. These tools often take into account factors such as dive time, weight, difficulty level, and environmental conditions to estimate the calories burned. By inputting these variables into the calorie-tracking tool, you can get a more precise calculation of your energy expenditure.


Does scuba diving burn more calories than swimming?

Yes, scuba diving typically burns more calories than swimming due to the added resistance from the equipment and the energy required to navigate underwater currents.

Can scuba diving help with weight loss?

Yes, scuba diving can contribute to weight loss by increasing metabolism, providing a full-body workout, and promoting calorie expenditure.

How many calories can a shore dive in temperate waters burn?

PADI estimates that an average shore dive in temperate waters can burn up to 600 calories per hour.

Do you need to be physically fit to scuba dive?

While scuba diving requires a certain level of physical fitness, it is a suitable activity for individuals of various fitness levels. However, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional before engaging in scuba diving, especially if you have any underlying health conditions.


The calorie burn during a dive can range from 300 to 600 calories, depending on factors such as dive time, difficulty, and environmental conditions. Activities like fin kicking, staying warm, dehydration, carrying scuba gear, and breathing at higher depths all contribute to the overall calorie burn.

By incorporating scuba diving into your fitness routine, you can enjoy the benefits of a low-impact exercise activity that promotes weight loss and keeps you in top shape.

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