How Many Calories Does Scuba Diving Burn?

The Coastal Side is supported by readers and some links on this website are affiliate links. We may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you click through our links and make a purchase from one of our partners.

Scuba diving is a great workout. If you’ve been scuba diving before, you may be wondering just exactly how many calories does scuba diving burn?

If you’re ready to get into the deep blue sea and begin exploring, I don’t blame you! Scuba diving is exciting and interesting. It’s important to remember, though, that it’s seriously hard work. 

What Is Scuba Diving?

Scuba diver jumping into the ocean

Scuba diving is a type of underwater diving that usually uses a tank of oxygen hooked onto the diver. Scuba is an acronym that stands for Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus.

Scuba diving can be both recreational and professional, and the goal is usually to take a look at underwater marine wildlife.

Scuba diving requires strict, thorough training from licensed professionals. Because of the extended time spent under the water, the act of scuba diving is not one to take lightly.

Most divers use fins attached to their feet to help them swim better underwater. They also usually wear wetsuits and have helmets secured around their heads that are attached to the oxygen tank they wear on their backs. This is so that they can breathe underwater.

Is Scuba Diving a Good Workout?

Two people scuba diving in the ocean

Scuba diving is undeniably amazing for your health and fitness. There are many studies and declarations on the ability of scuba diving to burn calories and keep you in shape.

The Compendium of Physical Activities in 2011 likened the physical exertion required to scuba dive to the exertion needed to ice skate, speed walk, or play a casual match of soccer.

When pushing against strong water currents or diving in below-average water temperature, you can find an even better workout that burns even more calories.

Scuba divers tone and strengthen almost every muscle since they’re moving every part of their bodies to swim through the water. It truly is a full-body workout.

Scuba Diving Burns A Good Amount of Calories

A person scuba diving with a very large fish

The exact calories burned figures will vary from person to person. The amount of calories your body burns doing any activity is different depending on your age, sex, weight, and several other factors.

In general, however, you can expect to fall within a given range of calories burned almost every time you scuba dive and this can be anywhere from 400-700 calories per hour. Your exact physical condition will determine where within that range you fall. The average person burns just about 500 calories per hour.

How To Start Scuba Diving

Scuba diving lessons in a pool

You’ve now learned that scuba diving is a fantastic workout, so if you were already interested before, I’m sure you’re beyond excited to give it a try now.

Scuba diving is not something you can necessarily pick up without any forethought or effort, though. So it’s vital to know where to start. I’ve compiled a step-by-step list here to get you started on this great calorie-burning activity.

1. Ensure You Are Physically Fit

There are minimum health and fitness requirements for scuba diving, so make sure you don’t have any illnesses on the prohibited list. And be sure that you are of at least average fitness.

2. Find A Scuba Diving Course

You’ll first want to find an instructor and a course near you or within a location that you’re willing to travel to. Once you’ve signed up, your instructor will guide you through the basics and beginner diving.

You often begin diving in pools or going on very shallow dives to start getting comfortable with breathing underwater. It should only take a week or two of practice before you’re certified.

3. Buy Scuba Diving Gear

There is a lot of dive equipment that a scuba diver needs. Here’s the full list of gear that you’ll want to either rent or buy:

  • Scuba Mask
  • Snorkel
  • Scuba Fins
  • Scuba Gloves
  • Scuba Tank
  • Wetsuit
  • Buoyancy Compensator (or BCD)
  • Scuba Regulator
  • Dive Computer

4. Get Diving!

You can join scuba diving groups near you to stay up to date on the skills and tips you learned, or you can get out into the deep blue sea all on your own.

Frequently Asked Questions

Woman wearing a scuba diving mask and smiling

I’ve compiled the most commonly asked questions about burning calories while scuba diving here for you:

How Long Should I Scuba Dive?

Because you are limited by the amount of oxygen that you can carry in the tank on your back, it’s normal to dive for 45 minutes at a time.

Once you’ve used all of your oxygen, you can certainly go back down once more after filling it back up, but when you’re new to diving, it can get exhausting diving multiple times.

If you scuba dive for 45 minutes, keeping the 400-700 number of calories burned figure in mind, you will burn 300-525 calories every time.

How Long Does It Take To Lose Weight?

If you dove multiple times a week and went down for 45 minutes every time, you could burn something like an extra 1200 calories every week. If you kept everything else in your life and diet the same, you would lose about a third of a pound a week that way.

In that case, after one year, you would have 17 pounds of weight loss without doing anything except adding a super fun activity into your life!

Is Scuba Diving Hard?

Scuba diving can be tiring and exhausting, especially in strong currents. It can also take a while to learn and get the hang of scuba diving. But once you’ve gone scuba diving enough times, it becomes easy and even relaxing for most people. In short, scuba diving is not particularly hard once you’re in the habit of it.


Does scuba diving burn calories? Yes! It is a great way to burn calories, lose weight, get in shape, and feel overall better and healthier. Being outside, away from your daily grind, electronics and other man-made stress is amazing for your overall health. 

The activity of scuba diving is fun and relaxing, and you get to see a lot of incredible underwater flora and fauna to keep your dive interesting. What better way to burn calories than exploring the big deep blue sea and its wonders?

About the Writer

Share this article

More to Explore

why is cave diving dangerous

Why Is Cave Diving Dangerous? Exploring the Hazards Beneath the Surface 

Many individuals are aware of the dangers of diving in underwater caves. However, there are still occasional mishaps and even …

Read Article
why do they shower after diving
why do they shower after diving

Why Do They Shower After Diving? Exploring the Reasons Behind the Tradition

Having a shower after diving aids in clearing the skin of any salt, sand, or dirt. In addition to that, …

Read Article
Diving Guides

Is Scuba Diving Expensive to Pick Up as a Hobby?

Is scuba diving expensive? Well, while all hobbies require some investment to learn and start in, scuba diving, in particular, …

Read Article