Playing a musical instrument is better exercise than having sex (but not as good as chopping trees)

As part of my day job, I've been consulting the endlessly entertaining Compendium of Physical Activities, which puts all human activity on a scale to measure physical effort and the number of calories burnt. The lowest things on the scale are, reasonably enough, sleep (0.9 mets), and listening to music (1 met). The highest is "Forestry, Ax Chopping, Fast" (17 mets). To save you looking it up, 'sexual activity' ranges from 'passive, light effort, kissing, hugging' (1 met) to 'active, vigorous effort' (1.5 mets). I wouldn't want question the accuracy of the study, but 1.5 mets is the same as 'typing: electric, manual or computer'. Anyway, here are the records for musical instrument playing. To put it in context, 4.0 mets is the same as playing ping-pong. Unfortunately there's no entry for 'light mouse clicking'
1.8 Accordion
2.0 Cello
2.0 Flute (sitting)
2.0 Horn
2.0 Woodwind
2.0 Guitar, classical, folk (sitting)
2.5 Conducting
2.5 Piano or organ
2.5 Trumpet
2.5 Violin
3.0 Guitar, rock and roll band (standing)
3.5 Trombone
3.5 Marching band, drum major (walking)
4.0 Drums
4.0 Marching band, playing an instrument, baton twirling (walking)

Either they are talking to some kick-ass typists, or I'm going to question either their method of measurement or the satisfaction-index of their partner because 1.5 does seem really terribly low, and were it not more logically just a shade one side or the other of electric guitar or maybe alto-saxophone, then I have to wonder: why would there be groupies?
Sex is the same as milking a cow with a machine--makes sense.
You sure they weren't surveying sex in Second Life? sex = typing?
I'm surprised the accordion is so low on the scale. I have acoustic and digital models, and both weigh around 25 pounds. I consider it more strenuous than playing the piano, for example.
Well, given that there's a whole section of the report given over specifically to the minutiae of religious activity, and given that they think talking in church expends more energy than vigorous sex, I'm forced to question what their concept of 'sexual activity' is -- holding hands *and* giggling, perhaps.

Still, it's nice to know that being a locksmith is such a slimming occupation.
Please don't tell my wife that I will end up practicing the guitar more and never getting any!
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I find accordeon playing quite hard. They must have measured it with people that plyed sitting. Accordeon playing while you are standing (or even dancing) is a tough job!

Four months ago I picked up my guitar and started playing it again after nearly 14 years... I'd spent the intervening years writing, recording and performing entirely with electronics, from theremins to laptops... I can assure you, the muscularity one plows into an instrument is as rewarding personally as it is to an audience... my "chops" ain't ever been better and I now practice and play every day, my synths in storage and my studio reduced significantly in size until the next "big" idea!

Great blog mate, I think the best online currently, keep on going.
how about singing? curious

thats retarted if you ask in this so called scale vigorous sex = 1.5 mets....idk who came up with that nonsence but ive had sex till my heart was pumping out of my chest i had sweat all over my body and i was completly exausted. i have never gotten close to that tired from typing for three hours. someone needs to lay off the drugs and look at this in a more rational way. it depends on whose on top but i would assume the muscles involved in both top or bottom use ALOT more energy then any of those activities. i think this whole study is Bull shit nonsence
Anyone that spells retarded in the form of "retarted" has a high possibility of actually being retarded. Instead of criticizing others legitimate efforts to be creative, you should look for the nearest adult learning center in your area and sign up. Come on Noah, everyone should have their GED, even if it is from DeVry.
I prefer play sex than chopping trees :P
I'd imagine that the energy used during sex would vary dramatically depending on the position...
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