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Energy and Activity

Energy and Activity © Shirley Burchill

The energy in food is used to carry out all the activities that keep an organism alive. For example: moving, keeping warm or sensing changes in the world around it.

The more active an animal or a plant is, the more energy it needs to stay alive.

School children in Peru © Shirley Burchill

Energy is measured in Joules or sometimes in calories. The table opposite shows how much energy a man uses when he is involved in different activities. You can see from this table that the activities that need the most effort also need most energy.

Activity Energy Used
/KJ per hour
Sitting 0080
Typing 0117
Dusting 0460
Walking 0774
Mining coal 1339
Rowing 1506
Cycling 1632
Swimming 1883
Running 3766

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