How many calories can I burn doing housework?

A 150 pound person can burn around 170 calories per hour doing light cleaning (dusting, straightening up, etc). Tougher jobs like scrubbing and cleaning accumulated dirt and grime can burn up to 190 calories per hour.
The average 125 pound person will burn 128 calories per hour while ironing, 128 calories per hour while washing dishes, 150 calories per hour while cooking, 150 calories per hour putting away groceries, 165 calories per hour doing general housework, 180 calories per hour loading or unloading a car, and 255 calories per hour while mopping.
Dr. Mike Clark, DPT
While age, weight, and gender play a role, on average it’s possible to burn anywhere from 100-300 calories per hour doing housework, all depending on the type of activity and vigor with which you do it. Use the following estimates, based on a body weight of 150lbs, to help you determine how many calories you might burn doing about an hour of typical daily housework/ cleaning:
  • Sweeping x 10 minutes = 37 calories
  • Vacuuming x 10 minutes = 37 calories
  • Ironing x 20 minutes = 50 calories
  • Mopping x 20 minutes = 42 calories
  • Making beds x 10 minutes = 23 calories
  • Washing dishes x 10minutes = 26 calories
Total time:  1hr 10 minutes = 215 calories

For additional estimates on how many calories you burn doing different activities, visit Discovery Health and use the activity tracker here:
Here's how many calories a 150-pound person burns in 30 minutes of doing these household chores:
  • Moving furniture -- 225 calories
  • Scrubbing floors -- 189 calories
  • Raking leaves -- 171 calories
  • Gardening -- 169 calories
  • Mowing the lawn -- 162 calories
  • Washing the car -- 153 calories
  • Cleaning windows -- 153 calories

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.