Surprising workout you can do at home that ‘burns nearly 140,00 calories a year’

Fancy burning 139,898 calories a year? Keeping a tidy home is a big workout, a new study has found.

The unintentional workouts of houseproud Brits reportedly burns a 2,690 calories a week just by cleaning their homes.

Research into 2,000 adults who clean more than once a week has found they will spend 30 hours a year ironing – more than a day – and burn 9,277 calories just from that one chore.

Gardening is a workout in itself as much as it is therapeutic as adults are shedding 142 calories over the 38 minutes spent doing the chore each week, the Mirror reports.

Hoovering is also good exercise, with adults typically doing this four times a week – burning up to 8,747 calories per year in the process.

But in addition to shedding pounds, 60% think there are other benefits to cleaning – finding it a great way to destress after work and switch off from a busy day.

Dividing hosta bush, spring seasonal work, planting flower bed in backyard. Woman working in garden. Landscape, gardening, plants and flowers, hobbies and leisure, lifestyle in spring concept
Gardening just 38 minutes a week is a good workout

It also emerged 59% feel it helps them lead a healthier lifestyle, with clean kitchens resulting in fewer takeaways.

Three-quarters (77%) of those who habitually clean their homes say it also puts them in a better mood, with more than half saying they enjoy cleaning their home.

Interestingly, the study also found that those with a regular cleaning schedule were better able to implement a good sleep routine, a healthy eating routine, and a decent fitness routine.

Brooke Marchand, Coach at behaviour change company Noom, which commissioned the research, said: “The number of calories you can burn when cleaning certainly adds up, and can be a valuable way to move your body every day.

“If you enjoy having a clean and calm home but dislike exercise, then doing a bit of housework might be the healthy habit for you, as it can be a full body workout as you reach for dusty corners or high-up shelves.”

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She continued: “When we clean our homes, it helps to boost our mood – and when we are in a good mood, this can have a huge impact on factors such as what we eat, how motivated we feel to exercise, and how often we go outside for fresh air.

“All of these, in turn, affect our physical health. Even the addition of a few small chores throughout the week can help you on your way to a healthier lifestyle and a clearer mindset.”

The findings show that one in three people get sweaty cleaning the windows, cleaning the bathroom, and making and stripping the bed – while one in four say that their muscles ache after they mow the lawn.

Gardening, hoovering and tidying were the most popular chores, according to the OnePoll study – while cleaning the oven, ironing, and putting away clean washing were the most disliked, the research found.

A young handsome man is wearing yellow gloves while he cleans the bathroom sink, he is dressed casually and looks happy.
Houseproud Brits find cleaning a great way to destress

Brooke Marchand added: “When people think about their health, they rarely think about their homes.

“But the reality is, our physical environment can have a huge impact on both our mood and behaviours.

“The findings show that having a regular cleaning schedule can help Brits to develop healthy habits in other aspects of their life, helping to improve their overall wellbeing and mindset.

“Simple daily habit changes such as doing regular chores, walking up escalators, or sticking to a set bedtime routine, can be the small steps that lead to long-term behavioural change.

“At Noom, we want to help people live healthier and happier lives.

“For those who may be daunted by the thought of changing their lifestyle to improve their health, it is reassuring to see that even daily chores can help them establish long-term healthy habits and achieve their goals.”

How long Brits spend in minutes doing these household chores a week – and the calories they burnt

  1. Mowing the lawn/gardening – 38.1 minutes = 142 calories burnt
  2. Washing and drying up – 36.4 minutes = 186 calories burnt
  3. Ironing – 35.4 minutes = 180 calories burnt
  4. Vacuuming – 33.4 minutes = 170 calories burnt
  5. Tidying – 32.2 minutes = 164 calories burnt
  6. Cleaning the bathroom – 32.2 minutes = 164 calories burnt
  7. Loading/unloading the dishwasher – 29.3 minutes = 149 calories burnt
  8. Cleaning kitchen surfaces – 28.5 minutes = 145 calories burnt
  9. Folding/putting away the clean laundry – 28.5 minutes = 145 calories burnt
  10. Cleaning the windows – 26.8 minutes = 137 calories burnt
  11. Cleaning the oven – 27.2 minutes = 139 calories burnt
  12. Dusting/polishing furniture – 27.1 minutes = 138 calories burnt
  13. Making the bed/stripping the bed – 27.2 minutes = 139 calories burnt
  14. Mopping/steaming the floor – 26.7 minutes = 122 calories burnt
  15. Organising cupboard and drawers – 25.2 minutes = 128 calories burnt

Top tips on sprucing up your health and wellbeing

Andreas Michaelides, Noom’s chief of psychology, has offered some advice on how to put a spring in your step this season.

1. Freshen up your routine

Decide what specific behaviour you want to change, and then focus on the “why”.

What is the core reason you want to make this change? Start with achievable and realistic goals.

Making small adjustments to your daily routine is a great way to build long-term healthy habits – such as increasing your step-count at lunchtime, opting for a nutritious snack, or bringing your bedtime forward.

2. Dust off the cobwebs (aka trainers)

Mindful workouts and walks are designed to bring body and mind together.

While outdoors, focus your attention on the signs of spring around you — taking in all the sights, sounds and smells.

Pay attention to the rhythm of your movement and the regularity of your breath, these processes anchor you in the present moment and can make exercising much more enjoyable.

3. Fuel your body

Take check of your eating habits, and identify what changes may need to be made to help you achieve your health goals.

Can you incorporate new healthy recipes into your meals? Are you choosing foods that serve you?

4. Develop a relationship with your thoughts

Your thinking influences your behaviours, and vice versa.

This spring, make an effort to replace downbeat thoughts with more positive statements, e.g. swap “I haven’t exercised today, I’m useless”, with “It’s ok that I haven’t exercised yet, I’ve been busy, but I can make time for a walk after dinner”.


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