Are Household Chores or Activities a Good Type of Exercise?
While many studies suggest that household chores are not strictly categorised as exercise, the Compendium of Physical Activities Tracking Guide says that about 30 minutes of intense vacuuming or sweeping can burn up to 130 calories.
Whether it’s sweeping your home or cleaning your bathroom thoroughly, household chores can be quite boring. But chores or household activities that require a lot of moderate to vigorous-intensity effort may be good for burning some calories as well.
While many studies suggest that household chores are not strictly categorised as exercise, the Compendium of Physical Activities Tracking Guide says that about 30 minutes of intense vacuuming or sweeping can burn up to 130 calories. Now, this may not seem like much when compared to running, cycling or even climbing stairs, but if you combine a few types of household chores, increase the intensity and do it for much longer, the cumulative effect may be the same.
Household chores during the pandemic
The additional factor you need to consider is that since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, many people have been working from home and cannot safely access gyms. In this scenario, intense household chores are a good way to get some exercise. At the same time, most household chores include cleaning and disinfecting, which has further benefits for your health as it can help prevent not only COVID-19 infection but other viral, bacterial and fungal infections too.
The following are some household activities that you can perform to burn those calories, especially during the pandemic:
- Sweeping and mopping the floor
- Vacuum cleaning the home
- Thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting bathrooms
- Washing the car
- Getting groceries then cleaning, disinfecting or storing them properly
- Dusting and disinfecting high touch surfaces
- Doing laundry by hand
Benefits of doing household chores
There are many health benefits associated with doing household chores and not all of them are linked to exercising or burning calories. The following are some such benefits you can gain by doing intense household chores.
- Doing chores can help you get some exercise at home without having to step out and face crowds during the pandemic.
- Household activities like disinfecting all high-touch surfaces regularly can keep viral, bacterial and fungal infections away.
- Cleaning and dusting are some household chores that can help you avoid dust accumulation and, thereby, reduce the risks of dust allergies or asthma attacks.
- Household chores help keep your home clean, organised and disease-free. Some studies indicate that this can not only reduce stress but also create a better sleep and rest environment. Reduction in stress and improvement in sleep can, in turn, improve your health.
- Some studies indicate that doing high-intensity household activities like mopping, sweeping and scrubbing can reduce your risk of heart disease.
For more information, read our article on Household chores as a means of exercise.
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