Spring Cleaning: 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.

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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.

Sweeping the floors

This-Is-How-Many-Calories-You-Actually-Burn-While-Spring-CleaningTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com Women burn: 87 calories Men burn: 102 calories

Vacuuming

This-Is-How-Many-Calories-You-Actually-Burn-While-Spring-CleaningTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com Women burn: 94 calories Men burn: 111 calories

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Dusting the furniture

This-Is-How-Many-Calories-You-Actually-Burn-While-Spring-CleaningTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com Women burn: 57 calories Men burn: 66 calories

Washing dishes by hand

This-Is-How-Many-Calories-You-Actually-Burn-While-Spring-CleaningTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com Women burn: 49 calories Men burn: 58 calories

Taking out the trash

This-Is-How-Many-Calories-You-Actually-Burn-While-Spring-CleaningTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com Women burn: 57 calories Men burn: 66 calories

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Organizing your bedroom

This-Is-How-Many-Calories-You-Actually-Burn-While-Spring-CleaningTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com Women burn: 189 calories Men burn: 223 calories

Scrubbing the bathtub

This-Is-How-Many-Calories-You-Actually-Burn-While-Spring-CleaningTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com Women burn: 106 calories Men burn: 124 calories

Washing windows

This-Is-How-Many-Calories-You-Actually-Burn-While-Spring-CleaningTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com Women burn: 126 calories Men burn: 149 calories

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Rearranging your living room furniture

This-Is-How-Many-Calories-You-Actually-Burn-While-Spring-CleaningTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com Women burn: 189 calories Men burn: 221 calories

Sweeping the front walk

This-Is-How-Many-Calories-You-Actually-Burn-While-Spring-CleaningTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com Women burn: 113 calories Men burn: 133 calories

Washing the car

This-Is-How-Many-Calories-You-Actually-Burn-While-Spring-CleaningTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com Women burn: 76 calories Men burn: 89 calories

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Watering plants

This-Is-How-Many-Calories-You-Actually-Burn-While-Spring-CleaningTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com Women burn: 57 calories Men burn: 66 calories

Mowing the lawn

This-Is-How-Many-Calories-You-Actually-Burn-While-Spring-CleaningTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com Women burn: 170 calories Men burn: 199 calories

Pulling weeds

This-Is-How-Many-Calories-You-Actually-Burn-While-Spring-CleaningTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com Women burn: 132 calories Men burn: 155 calories

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Moving boxes of winter clothes into the attic

This-Is-How-Many-Calories-You-Actually-Burn-While-Spring-CleaningTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com 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:
  1. 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.
  2. Multiply the MET by 3.5 (the number of milliliters of oxygen you consume per kilogram of your body weight)
  3. Multiply that number by your weight in kilograms (to convert from pounds, divide your weight by 2.2046)
  4. Divide that number by 1,000 (so you’re working in liters instead of milliliters)
  5. Multiply that number by 5, since you burn 5 calories for every liter of oxygen you breathe in
  6. Last but not least, multiply that by the number of minutes you engaged in the activity. Voila, the number of calories burned!

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