How Many Calories Do You Burn Doing the Housework?

Not many people consider housework therapeutic but for “clean-a-holics,” household chores have become yet another way to burn calories. If you neither have the time nor the patience to go to the gym, read on and find out how you can lose weight by doing housework.

effective tips for doing your houseworkDo you know that you can do household chores and burn calories at the same time? Spending two and a half hours cleaning your home can provide you with sufficient physical workout. Putting more effort into housework translates to greater weight loss benefits. Dusting, vacuuming, and polishing, for instance, tone your shoulders and keep your arms shapely.  Stretching and bending while you wash the windows, do your laundry or make the bed are an excellent workout for muscles in your thighs, calves, and legs to improve your flexibility. Chores that require more energy – weeding your garden, trimming hedges, moving your lawn, and raking dead leaves, to name a few – are all great activities that burn calories.

According to the American Council on Exercise, the use of weights can increase the number of benefits while doing housework. Putting on wrist or ankle weights when you do chores can help burn more calories by 25% to 50%, making housework an inexpensive, practical, and effective way to lose weight. To give you an idea of what chores can help burn calories away, take a look at the list below.

Mopping and/or Sweeping

Mopping and/or sweeping can burn around 240 calories in an hour. Additionally, either chore is great for working out the upper and lower parts of your body. Focus mopping and/or sweeping on all the floors first; the dirtier your floors are, the more effort you would have to extend to get the dirt, grime, and other debris out. After you are done, vacuum rugs, carpets, curtains and other above-ground areas to work out your arms.

Scrubbing the Bathroom

Tone muscles in your shoulders and arms by scrubbing the bathroom floor and bathtub on your hands and knees for half an hour and burn from 200 to 260 calories. Bathroom scrubbing is the most vigorous of all indoor cleaning activities. An hour of scrubbing the bathroom will burn off calories more than chowing down on a Big Mac with cheese which has 560 calories.

Moving and/or Carrying Household Items

You can burn between 544 and 616 calories from 136 minutes of moving and/or carrying household items upstairs. Interestingly enough, wearing high heels burns more calories than wearing flat shoes when carrying items upstairs. Remember, though, that people who weigh more will burn a whole lot more calories when they carry and/or move things to the second or even third floor.

See How Many Calories Some Chores Can Burn

To give you more information on how many calories you can burn, take a look at this chart:

Household Chore Number of Calories Burned in 15 Minutes Number of Calories Burned in One Hour
Changing light bulbs 17 68
Washing the car and/or cleaning the garage 34 136
Changing the linen and carrying out the trash 26 102
Clearing dishes from the table and washing dishes with walking/while standing 26/22 102/88
Vacuuming 43 170
Food preparation or cooking with walking/while sitting or standing using manual appliances 26/17 102/68
Doing the laundry, hanging or folding clothes, and putting clothes in the washing machine or dryer 17 68
Making the bed 17 68
Putting the groceries away 26 102
Watering plants 26 102
Ironing 50 100
Weeding the garden 57 230
Raking leaves 112 450
Sweeping floors 37 148
Putting away, gathering or packing clothes while walking around 22 88

While rearranging your closets for an hour will burn 85 calories, redecorating your home and chopping or splitting wood for the same length of time will burn 167 calories. Moreover, chores that require vigorous performance like splitting or chopping wood and cleaning windows from inside and outside can burn as much as 334 and from 400 to 500 calories an hour, respectively.