Like it or loath it, housework is just one of those things that we simply must get done. A tidy space equals a tidy mind, after all, which means there are tonnes of ways it can benefit our mental health.
But what about our physical health? Well, what if we told you that there are some chores that can even be classed as exercise…
Yep, you read correctly. By merging your gym session with your grim session, you can work on your fitness goals while also tackling those not-so-fun tasks! Here we unveil how many calories you can expect to burn per household chore.
What factors affect calorie burn?
Before we lunge into the facts and figures, first it’s important to understand that there are several factors that can determine how many calories you burn throughout any given day.
Food – Your diet plays a crucial role in the number of calories you burn. For example, eating protein-rich food requires more energy to digest, which leads to burning more calories.
Age – Hey, we also agree that you’re only as old as you feel…but ageing does mean our muscle mass decreases and our metabolism slows down, meaning fewer calories are zapped.
Gender – Men and women are equal…well, almost. Men do typically have a higher muscle mass and therefore tend to burn more calories than women, making gender a determining factor.
Rough estimates of calorie burn per chore
For the sake of this experiment, let’s take a 180 lb person and imagine they spend around 30 minutes on each activity. Here’s what they could expect to burn per typical household chore.
Vacuuming: 138 calories
Your prayers called us, and we answered. Ditch the cross trainer and spend 30 minutes vacuuming the floor instead – you can burn more calories! This chore is a handy form of exercise as it requires lots of steps and is powered by both your arms and legs.
Enjoy a dynamic workout that delivers fresh carpets and floors free from any dust, dirt, or debris. Now that’s what we’re talking about.
Mopping: 146 calories
In a similar way to vacuuming, mopping is a smart way to shift calories as it relies on moving your whole body. Fancy pushing yourself further?
Try lunging forward instead of stepping, and make sure you’re really working those biceps as you manoeuvre the mop. Voilà: sparkling floors and 146 calories gone.
Dusting and polishing: 96 calories
Dusting shelves and polishing furniture can be about as fun as stepping on Lego, but just remember that spending 30 minutes on this chore can burn as many as 96 calories!
Grab that eco kitchen roll to wipe down the counters and use the feather duster to access hard-to-reach places; the vigorous wiping and swiping will keep your arms in good shape.
Putting away the shopping: 104 calories
Food shop day is a great day, but then comes the time to put everything away. And that part is much less enjoyable. A positive, however, is that this task can shift more than 100 calories.
Grabbing the heavy bags from your car or front door, and then putting each individual item in the fridge, freezer, and cupboard, all contributes to a healthier you! Even if one of those items happens to be a cheesecake (we won’t tell).
Watering plants: 104 calories
Burn off that cheesecake by feeding your plants. Yep, spending 30 minutes hydrating your violas, veronicas, and various houseplants can burn 104 calories. Not only will your plants continue to stay alive as well as thrive, but you’ll give your body a light workout at the same time.
If you don’t have any flowers or houseplants at home, this is the perfect opportunity to treat yourself and reap the countless benefits associated with embracing the jungle life!
Changing bed sheets: 138 calories
Name a better feeling than wrapping yourself in fresh bed sheets after a tiring day…see, you can’t! Plus, the awkward part that comes before the bliss can burn the same number of calories as a packet of crisps!
Why not treat yourself to a packet once the housework is done? Just be wary of crumbs otherwise you might need to repeat the task all over again.
Organising a room: 200 calories
Organising and reorganising can be great for our mental health – and physical health, too. A staggering 200 calories can be worked off by spending half an hour vigorously decluttering and organising a room.
Spend an entire morning sorting each room in your house and you could burn around 1,000 calories! Plus, think about all the old photo albums and trinkets you’ll come across.
Washing dishes: 129 calories
With every delicious, home-cooked meal comes a bunch of pans, dishes, and cutlery that needs cleaning. No dishwasher? No problem! Snap on those rubber gloves, take a deep breath, and start handwashing them.
By the time you’re done cleaning and all your utensils are gleaming, you could have burned off around 129 calories! That’s not bad considering washing dishes tends to be an unavoidable part of the day.
Never dread housework days again
Housework days will feel much better once you understand that these chores are good for your health as well as your house. While these are only estimates and actual calorie burn may vary per chore, any activity that gets your body moving is a good activity!
Nonetheless, you must remember it’s important you get regular physical activity to improve and maintain your overall health and well-being, so try not to rely solely on sporadic cleaning sessions as exercise. It’s a cracking place to start though!