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Calories Burned Playing Dance Dance Revolution

Couple playing video games.
Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/Blend Images/Getty Images

In the "Dance Dance Revolution" (DDR) video games, you'll score points by dancing in time with a song. Your dance movements are tracked by a dance mat. DDR involves a far greater amount of physical movement than traditional “sit down and play” video games.


In 2007, researchers from the La Crosse Exercise and Health Program at the University of Wisconsin studied the health benefits of Dance Dance Revolution. The research found that DDR players burned an average of 5.9 calories per minute when playing "light mode." Players burned 6.7 calories per minute when playing "standard mode" and 8.1 calories per minute when playing "difficult mode."


The University of Wisconsin study also found that adult participants burned more calories than teen subjects. This can be attributed to the greater body weight of the adult subjects, according to Fitness Matters.

Expert Insight

A 2009 study by the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center compared the energy expended by playing DDR games to treadmill walking. The results indicated that the energy expenditure from playing middle-level DDR games was similar to walking 3.66 miles in an hour. The study also found that beginner-level DDR gaming elicited a two-fold increase in energy expenditure when compared to television watching.

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