Burn Major Calories with these 7 Easy Chores

Obesity is one of the biggest health issues we face, and it looks like researchers found one easy way to prevent weight gain: Clean more. A study published in PLoS One found that over time, as more and more women moved from the home into the workforce, they’ve burned fewer and fewer calories.

Why? First, by having desk jobs, both women and men are sitting more. And we know how bad sitting is for our health! Also, in the 1950s and 60s, women spent the daytime hours tending to household duties like cleaning and cooking. Now, most women crunch numbers in spreadsheets or are on conference calls for hours at a time.


This work ethic is taking a toll on women’s waistlines. According to this study, American women in the workforce are burning about 132 fewer calories at home each day than in 1965. Even scarier, when comparing women who weren’t employed outside the home during the same time period, they were burning 340 fewer calories.

Granted, in 1965, a typical lady probably less on her plate than the multitasking mothers of our current generation, but this study may be on to something. If you can’t make it to the gym, cleaning the house can help you burn a few extra calories and getting a few chores off your to-do list. We did our research to find the most fat-burning activities.

Here they are (based on an 150-pound women doing these activities for 30 minutes):

  1. Sweeping/Mopping: 119 calories. Play music and dance while you sweep for an extra burn.
  2. Cooking: 102 calories — just don’t snack while you do it!
  3. Shoveling Snow: 200 calories. Scrape the frost off the car windows to cut more calories.
  4. Gardening: 125 caloriesand a great lower body workout. Think about the squats you do while pulling weeds!
  5. Scrubbing the Bathtub: 130 calories. Plus everyone likes a clean bathroom.
  6. Washing Windows: 125 calories (and a great arm toner).
  7. Ironing: 78 calories. This may not seem like a lot, but ironing is a full-body workout.

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