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Old December 26th 03, 11:59 PM
Gollum
 
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Default does chess burn calories?

I heard recently that playing a 4 hour chess match burns as many
calories as a football game. How is this possible when you are
sitting still? Is it true?

Smeagol
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Old December 27th 03, 02:16 AM
Sidney Cadot
 
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Gollum wrote:

I heard recently that playing a 4 hour chess match burns as many
calories as a football game. How is this possible when you are
sitting still? Is it true?


There are probably medically-oriented newsgroups that can provide a
better answer than anyone here. But, for what it's worth, two arguments
why this statement is probably untrue:

1) An average human brain consumes about 20W of power. About 70% of this
power budget is expended on driving the sodium/potassium pumps within
the brain's neurons, that are used to maintain the concentration
gradients needed for the neurons to be able to 'fire'. These molecular
pumps work constantly to maintain this gradient, even if the neuron is
not firing. Given that (even when thinking really hard) most neurons by
far aren't firing at all, it is unlikely that the power consumption
could go up by too much.

2) At rest, the entire human body consumes about 200W; when doing
physical sports, this can go up quite drastically (factor 3--10). Given
the 20W baseline power generated by the brain, it seems quite unlikely
to me that this will increase to the hundreds-of-watts range that would
validate the statement you heard. This would be physically detectable by
a significant increase in head temperature.

Best regards,

Sidney

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Old December 27th 03, 09:08 AM
Euc1id
 
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Default does chess burn calories?

"Sidney Cadot" wrote in message
...
Gollum wrote:

I heard recently that playing a 4 hour chess match burns as many
calories as a football game. How is this possible when you are
sitting still? Is it true?


There are probably medically-oriented newsgroups that can provide a
better answer than anyone here. But, for what it's worth, two arguments
why this statement is probably untrue:

1) An average human brain consumes about 20W of power. About 70% of this
power budget is expended on driving the sodium/potassium pumps within
the brain's neurons, that are used to maintain the concentration
gradients needed for the neurons to be able to 'fire'. These molecular
pumps work constantly to maintain this gradient, even if the neuron is
not firing. Given that (even when thinking really hard) most neurons by
far aren't firing at all, it is unlikely that the power consumption
could go up by too much.

2) At rest, the entire human body consumes about 200W; when doing
physical sports, this can go up quite drastically (factor 3--10). Given
the 20W baseline power generated by the brain, it seems quite unlikely
to me that this will increase to the hundreds-of-watts range that would
validate the statement you heard. This would be physically detectable by
a significant increase in head temperature.

Best regards,

Sidney

-------------------

Good idea! So, if we plug a light bulb in our mouth, it should light up.
Right? That would be cheaper and more convenient than buying flashlight
batteries with a bunny inside. I suppose it also explains why some people
get red in the face.
--
Euc1id


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Old December 27th 03, 01:35 PM
George
 
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Default does chess burn calories?

Gollum wrote in message . ..
I heard recently that playing a 4 hour chess match burns as many
calories as a football game. How is this possible when you are
sitting still? Is it true?


NO. Not even close.



Smeagol

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Old December 28th 03, 02:59 AM
Kerry Liles
 
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Default does chess burn calories?

I am unable to read your posts - are you posting in HTML?


"Simon Waters" wrote in message
...


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Old December 28th 03, 03:01 AM
Kerry Liles
 
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Default does chess burn calories?

Well, sorry - that was OE blocking evil (hehe) .txt attachments - I should
have looked closer.



"Kerry Liles" wrote in message
...
I am unable to read your posts - are you posting in HTML?


"Simon Waters" wrote in message
...




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Old December 28th 03, 01:38 PM
Ricardo Gibert
 
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Default does chess burn calories?


"Sidney Cadot" wrote in message ...
Gollum wrote:

I heard recently that playing a 4 hour chess match burns as many
calories as a football game. How is this possible when you are
sitting still? Is it true?


There are probably medically-oriented newsgroups that can provide a
better answer than anyone here. But, for what it's worth, two arguments
why this statement is probably untrue:

1) An average human brain consumes about 20W of power. About 70% of this
power budget is expended on driving the sodium/potassium pumps within
the brain's neurons, that are used to maintain the concentration
gradients needed for the neurons to be able to 'fire'. These molecular
pumps work constantly to maintain this gradient, even if the neuron is
not firing. Given that (even when thinking really hard) most neurons by
far aren't firing at all, it is unlikely that the power consumption
could go up by too much.


You're overlooking indirect effects. Most of the additional energy expended by a chess player is not the energy expended by the
brain itself, but rather the energy spent by their becoming nervous i.e. accelerated heart rate, accelerated breathing, increased
perspiration, shaking, etc.

I remember as a teen when I realized I was about to win my first tournament, I started shaking and my heart slammed around inside my
chest extremely hard. To me it was making a helluva racket, so I looked up from the board to see if the people nearby could hear it.
I really expected them to be staring at me in astonishment. For a short time I was probably pumping more blood than 3 football
players put together.

I got concerned, so I got up and got out of the tournament hall, found some stairs and ran up and down them repeatedly to try to use
up all that adrenaline. I finally calmed down enough to resume the game.

Needless to say, I think your analysis is faulty.


2) At rest, the entire human body consumes about 200W; when doing
physical sports, this can go up quite drastically (factor 3--10). Given
the 20W baseline power generated by the brain, it seems quite unlikely
to me that this will increase to the hundreds-of-watts range that would
validate the statement you heard. This would be physically detectable by
a significant increase in head temperature.

Best regards,

Sidney



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Old January 3rd 04, 04:32 AM
SnowDog
 
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Default does chess burn calories?

"Gollum" wrote in message
...
I heard recently that playing a 4 hour chess match burns as many
calories as a football game. How is this possible when you are
sitting still? Is it true?

Smeagol


No.

--
"What a maroon!"
- Bugs Bunny


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