Do you burn calories yelling?

Yelling or shouting loudly can actually burn a significant amount of calories, though the exact amount depends on several factors. Here’s a quick look at whether and how many calories you can burn from yelling.

Quick Answer: Yes, yelling does burn calories.

On average, a 150 pound person yelling for an hour may burn around 150 calories. The actual amount can vary based on the person’s weight, intensity of yelling, and time spent yelling. Yelling uses energy from your body and requires oxygen, so it acts similarly to aerobic exercise.

How Many Calories Does Yelling Burn?

Research has found that yelling or shouting loudly for an extended period can burn up to 182 calories per hour for an average sized adult. Here are some estimates on calories burned per hour of yelling based on a person’s weight:

Weight Calories Burned Per Hour of Yelling
100 pounds 120 calories
150 pounds 180 calories
200 pounds 240 calories

As you can see, the number of calories burned increases with body weight since yelling requires energy expenditure. The intensity of the yelling also impacts calories burned. More strenuous, loud yelling that really exerts the lungs and vocal cords will burn more calories than occasional loud outbursts.

How Does Yelling Burn Calories?

Yelling requires a significant amount of energy from your body to sustain the forceful vocalization, which translates to calories burned. Here are some of the ways yelling burns calories:

  • Expanding the lungs – Yelling uses strong inhalations and vocal exhalations, requiring deep breathing using the diaphragm and intercostal muscles between the ribs. The muscular exertion to rapidly inhale and exhale large volumes of air burns calories.
  • Tensing abdominal muscles – The abdominal muscles must contract forcefully to exhale the loud yells. This tensing of the stomach muscles burns calories.
  • Moving the arms – For very vigorous yelling, people may throw their arms in the air or use their arms to express themselves. Waving the arms while yelling burns additional calories by using the upper body.
  • Increased heart rate – Heart rate and blood circulation increases with the physical exertion required to repeatedly yell. This cardiovascular activity helps burn calories.
  • Oxygen consumption – Yelling loudly uses more oxygen as you breathe heavily and rapidly, which indirectly burns calories. The body is performing aerobic exertion.

The combination of these physical actions adds up to yelling requiring real energy expenditure and calorie burn for the body.

Does Yelling Burn More Calories Than Normal Talking?

Yes, yelling definitely burns more calories than normal talking. While regular talking at a moderate volume uses a minimal amount of energy, yelling requires significantly more exertion.

In one research study, scientists found that screaming or yelling for one minute burns an average of 0.1 calories. Extrapolating this, yelling loudly for one hour would burn around 60 calories.

Compare this to whispering, which only burns 0.006 calories per minute. This works out to around only 3.6 calories burned for one hour of whispering. So yelling burns over 15 times more calories per minute than whispering.

Yelling requires forceful vocal cord vibration, deep inhalation, and strong vocal exhalation. This vigorous muscle activity and oxygen consumption is far greater than normal talking. The physical intensity translates directly to more calories burned.

Calories Burned Comparing Yelling vs. Other Activities

How does yelling compare to other physical activities in terms of calories burned? Here is a table comparing the approximate calories burned per hour (for a 150 pound person) for different levels of yelling versus other example exercises:

Activity Calories Burned Per Hour
Light yelling/talking loudly 90 calories
Moderate yelling 150 calories
Vigorous yelling/screaming 180 calories
Walking briskly (3.5 mph) 180 calories
Jogging slowly (5 mph) 290 calories
Swimming laps leisurely 275 calories

As you can see, vigorous yelling or screaming for an hour can burn about the same calories as a moderately-paced walk or leisurely swim. The yelling must be strenuous and sustained to burn a significant calorie amount comparable to exercise.

Burn More Calories by Doing Yoga or Aerobics

While yelling has some benefits for calorie burn, sustained exercise like yoga or aerobics would burn far more calories. Here is how yelling compares:

  • Hatha yoga burns about 460 calories per hour
  • Vigorous aerobic dance burns around 365 calories per hour
  • Moderate yelling burns around 150 calories per hour

So while vigorous yelling can burn some calories, it’s far less than flexibility exercises like yoga or aerobic cardio like dance. Running, swimming, biking, and using cardio machines like ellipticals or stair climbers would also burn significantly more calories than yelling.

Additionally, exercise provides many other physical and mental health benefits beyond just burning calories, including:

  • Building muscle and bone strength
  • Improving cardiovascular fitness
  • Releasing endorphins to boost mood
  • Reducing stress and anxiety

The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise per week. Yelling periodically does not provide the sustained activity needed to meet exercise guidelines. While yelling can be an outlet for emotions, relying on it for calorie burn is less effective than traditional exercise.

Tips for Maximizing Calories Burned Yelling

If you want to utilize yelling as a way to burn extra calories, here are some tips to maximize the calorie expenditure:

  • Yell loudly and forcefully to really engage your vocal cords, lungs, and diaphragm.
  • Sustain the yelling for at least 20-30 minutes without long pauses to keep heart rate elevated.
  • Incorporate movement like arm waving, stomping, or punching the air to engage more muscles.
  • Take deep belly breaths before each yell to fully expand your lungs.
  • Use motivation like sports crowd cheering to maintain a high energy level.
  • Stay well hydrated since yelling dehydrates your vocal cords.

To make yelling more like a cardio workout, yell vigorously for at least 30 minutes while moving around. Drink water before, during, and after the yelling session.

Risks and Precautions with Yelling

While yelling can burn calories, it does carry some risks if done improperly or excessively. Be aware of these precautions when yelling:

  • Yelling too vigorously or screaming at maximum volume can strain vocal cords and cause hoarseness or loss of voice.
  • Yelling angrily has been linked to increased blood pressure and heart attack risk. Keep yelling lighthearted.
  • Yelling can irritate the throat, especially if the vocal cords are tense. Use proper breathing techniques.
  • Yelling that disturbs others (e.g. neighbors) could potentially create conflict or trouble. Be considerate of noise levels.
  • Yelling excessively could cause vocal nodules or polyps to develop on strained vocal cords.

To reduce risks when yelling:

  • Yell in short 1-2 minute intervals with rests in between to minimize vocal strain.
  • Use a comfortable pitch instead of maximum volume.
  • Yell in an open outdoor space away from neighbors when possible.
  • Stay hydrated and don’t yell with a sore throat or illness.


Yelling can burn a moderate amount of calories by using energy and oxygen, but sustained exercise is far more effective for calorie expenditure. Light to vigorous yelling may burn 100-200 calories per hour on average for most adults. While periodic yelling can provide a beneficial release of emotions, rely on cardio, strength training, yoga, and other exercise to meet your fitness goals and burn calories on a regular basis. But in a pinch, yelling can provide a small calorie burn boost.

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