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How Many Calories Do You Burn with Household Chores?

Tom Corbett

Does Housework Count as a Workout?

The answer: Yes! There's a reason they call it housework. You can burn serious calories during a marathon cleaning session. Here are a few jobs that work major muscle groups, and how many calories you're burning by completing each task. And because we think a sound mind should go with a strong body, we've included a few easy ways you can make that cardio-cleaning more eco-friendly.



Make It Green
Mopping floors

Shoulders, biceps

112 calories/
30 minutes

Try Method’s new OMop All Floor Starter Kit, which includes a mop, a washable cleaning pad and a nontoxic floor cleaner. $30;

Arms, core

288 calories/
60 minutes

Several brands now offer zero-VOC (volatile organic compound) paints, which are better for the planet. For a wide range of colors, go to


Arms, back

256 calories/
60 minutes

Reuse waste, garden organically, and reduce water consumption with the products available at, and

Cleaning gutters

Shoulders, upper back, arms, legs

320 calories/
60 minutes

Bag the leaves in BioBag’s 100 percent biodegradable and compostable 33 Gallon Lawn & Leaf Bags, made from corn. $5.19;




Originally published in FITNESS magazine, April 2008.