Health & Fitness

Housework can burn thousands of calories, if you're doing it right

Make your housework a proper work out and save cash on your gym membership

Housework is officially GREAT for burning calories as new research reveals just how much exercise you're getting just doing tasks around your house and garden.

Experts usually recommended that healthy adults take around two-and-a-half-hours of exercise each week and it turns out we’re already doing more of that as we already spend 11.5 hours doing weekly tasks around the house, which equals 2,345 calories burned!

Wow. That's our gym membership cancelled!

After analysing the tasks we all perform regularly, the researchers found that you can actually burn serious calories on everything from vacuuming (30 minutes burns 88 calories) to cleaning the windows, dusting (30 minutes burn 83 calories) while ironing for 45 minutes burns 118 calories. In each case all that stretching, bending and lifting can help you tone up and lose weight.

In addition, if you do them properly, more vigorous activities like gardening and washing the car can burn as many as 300 calories in an hour, while DIY can be even more intensive – shifting 350 calories an hour - and rearranging your furniture for an hour can burn 400 calories in 60 minutes.

If you’re counting your daily steps with a pedometer or fitness tracker, it’s also worth noting that housework will help you increase your daily step count. On average, a minute of light housework is apparently equivalent to taking around 72 steps!

This ultimate house-work-out!

The best ways to burn calories through housework

  • Play some music while you clean to help keep you motivated and make the process of cleaning more fun

  • Take items upstairs one at a time, that way, you will have to walk up and down the stairs more often, meaning more energy is required and you'll get through more calories

  • Do more by hand to use up more energy. Forget the dishwasher and clean the dishes the hard way

  • Lunge while you vacuum to help tone your leg muscles and burn more calories

  • Stretch as much as you can when dusting and cleaning the windows, and be aware of your arm muscles and working on your core while you’re working out

How long do you spend on housework? More or less than the average householder? Do you share the chores or have set tasks for you and your partner? Tell us over on Twitter or Facebook @Closeronline

READ MORE

Top tips for getting into running

A ten minute work out you can do while on the school run!

Closer magazine cover