Illustration of different cleaning items

How Many Calories Can You Burn Doing Housework?

Why cleaning is this summer's best workout

By Alexia Dellner, 21 June 2016
How Many Calories Can You Burn Doing Housework?

Who wants to exercise in summer? It's hot and muggy out, and there are so many better things you could be doing with your time – like watching the footie or firing up the barbecue. But as anyone who watches their waistline knows, the key to keeping the weight off is a healthy diet combined with exercise. But the good news is that you can still burn calories and work up a sweat this summer, without hitting the gym. And as an added bonus, you can keep you home nice and tidy while you're at it. 

From hoovering to washing up to laundry, it turns out that boring household chores can seriously burn calories and even work out different muscle groups. From toning your arms to strengthening your core, find out which household chores burn the most calories. Hey, there's a reason why they call it housework... 

Hoovering

Did you know that 60 minutes of hoovering could burn 170 calories? It's also great exercise for your arm muscles. Top tip: switch arms halfway through your hoovering session to make sure that you're giving both arms a decent workout. 

Doing the dishes

Standing up to wash and dry the dishes could burn approximately 88 calories per hour. Increase the burn by adding some walking into the mix – like clearing dishes from the table and putting dried dishes away. 

Washing the windows

Getting those windows sparkling clean is hard work! No wonder than an hour of vigorous effort like washing windows or cleaning the car could burn up to 136 calories per hour. Find out how to get streak-free windows here. 

Cooking

Cooking a meal from scratch isn't just a great way to eat delicious and healthy foods, but you'll burn calories too! Preparing a meal will burn about 68 calories per hour. Get inspired to get into the kitchen tonight with our selection of delicious recipes

Making the bed

Making the bed will burn about 20 calories per 15 minutes, which might not sound like much but every bit counts! Besides, who doesn't love coming home to a nicely-made bed? 

Ironing

Here's an easy way to make ironing a little more enjoyable – do it in front of the telly. But make sure that you're still standing up as that way, you'll burn approximately 88 calories per hour. 

Doing the laundry

Loading clothes in the washing machine, hanging them up to dry and then folding them is an easy way to burn a cool 88 calories per hour. You're mostly targeting your arms but if you add in some squats while putting your laundry away, you could work on the lower body as well. 

Scrubbing

Whether it's because the kids have tracked dirt in all around the kitchen or it's time to give the bathtub a good clean, this ought to cheer you up while you're scrubbing away – all that hard work burns 190 calories per hour, plus tones those arms.

Mopping

You could burn about 240 calories per hour of sweeping or mopping the floor, all while strengthening your upper body. Not bad! 

Talking on the phone

Ok, so you won't necessarily get a cleaner home by having a good natter on the phone with your mum BUT next time you're on the phone, give those legs a workout by walking around the house. You could burn up to 100 calories in just 30 minutes.  

All calorie calculations from calorielab.com. Please note that these calculations are an approximate guide – the exact number of calories you will burn will vary depending on your age, sex, weight and the intensity at which you perform the exercise. Get ready to burn calories and clean your house by stocking up on cleaning supplies at Asda