Getting stuck into the vacuuming or hanging out loads of washing may not be the most appealing of pastimes, but a new study has found that doing household chores can burn more than 2,000 calories a week.

Scrubbing the bathroom tiles, doing laundry, washing dishes and vacuuming the house can be the equivalent of a workout at the gym depending, of course, on how thoroughly you're cleaning.

The study found doing washing for an hour burns about the same number of calories as 100 sits, while cleaning windows is equal to roughly 40 push ups.

And for those who know the benefits of the dreaded plank (holding a push up position with your forearms on the ground), dusting is said to achieve the same results.


If you're heading outdoors this weekend to sort out that lawn, you could find yourself working up a sweat with the lawn mower that's on par with a 20 minute HIIT (high intensity interval training) session.

The findings also looked into which chores are best for certain areas of the body.

For example, if you want to work on your biceps spend some extra time cleaning the bath, as the movement was found to be best for toning arms and shoulder muscles.

If you're after a stronger stomach, put your hand up for a spot of ironing, said to strengthen abdominal muscles.

The best option for maximum calorie burning will see you heading into the garden for weeding, hoeing and planting, which should burn 213 calories in just half an hour.

Darren Beale from, which conducted the study, told the Daily Mail:

"Many of our customers like to rack up the hours at the gym so we thought it might be fun to look into how many calories we all burn without even realising it.

Beale said the findings were surprising. "Who would have thought that something as effortless as making the beds gives you the same work out as walking...


He notes for those of us with little spare time, fitting exercise into a schedule is tough, along with keeping up to date with housework.

"Now you don't need to feel as guilty knowing that whilst you're cleaning the windows you've worked off that muffin you ate earlier."