Spring Cleaning: Here’s How Many Calories You Burn During 15 Common Chores
Do you tense up at the thought of tackling the biggest cleanup of the year? We found a tempting incentive to clean besides just having a tidy house: burning serious calories.
Dream scenario: Get fit while cleaning your house
Doing chores around the house may not feel as intense as HIIT, or any workout for that matter. (These workouts burn the most calories, according to science.) But if you spend enough time cleaning or—dare we suggest it—doing multiple chores at once, those calories burned can add up. Here, we found out just how many calories we burn after 30 minutes of various spring cleaning activities. Note: These calculations were made using the average weights of American women (166 lbs) and men (195 lbs) over the age 20. (This is how often you should be cleaning everything in your house.)
Women burn: 94 calories
Men burn: 111 calories
These are things that professional housecleaners do in their homes every day.
Washing dishes by hand
Women burn: 49 calories
Men burn: 58 calories
Make sure you never, ever skip these spots when spring cleaning.
Scrubbing the bathtub
Women burn: 106 calories
Men burn: 124 calories
Try out these chemical-free ways to clean your home.
Rearranging your living room furniture
Women burn: 189 calories
Men burn: 221 calories
Sweeping the front walk
Women burn: 113 calories
Men burn: 133 calories
Try these tricks to clean your kitchen in 5 minutes.
Mowing the lawn
Women burn: 170 calories
Men burn: 199 calories
Make sure to avoid these cleaning mistakes that are probably making your home dirtier.
Moving boxes of winter clothes into the attic
Women burn: 302 calories
Men burn: 354 calories
What about other chores?
The CalorieLab has a nifty tool that can calculate the calories burned during dozens of activities just by putting in your weight. But if the activity you’re searching for isn’t listed there, you can calculate approximate calories burned with one equation. Here’s how it works:
- Find the metabolic equivalent (MET) of the activity, which is the intensity rate you’re exerting. Don’t worry: Arizona State University and the National Cancer Institute already did that for you.
- Multiply the MET by 3.5 (the number of milliliters of oxygen you consume per kilogram of your body weight)
- Multiply that number by your weight in kilograms (to convert from pounds, divide your weight by 2.2046)
- Divide that number by 1,000 (so you’re working in liters instead of milliliters)
- Multiply that number by 5, since you burn 5 calories for every liter of oxygen you breathe in
- Last but not least, multiply that by the number of minutes you engaged in the activity. Voila, the number of calories burned.