How many calories are burned doing housework? [Infographic]


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Thought you were burning some serious calories vacuuming and cleaning? While performing household chores will improve the look of your home, it's unfortunately not going to do much for your waistline, according to new research.

A study published in the Oct. 18 issue of BMC Public Health discovered that people who classified housework as weekly exercise weighed more than those who turned to more conventional forms of exercise, such as running or cycling. Additionally, the more time people reported spending on housework, the heavier they were.

LiveScience illustrated the numbers behind this research in this infographic, comparing the number of calories burned in 30 minutes by a 196-pound person, as well as a 164-pound person, doing such activities as gardening, vacuuming, cooking, making the bed and carrying boxes upstairs. These activities are compared to traditional exercise, such as running, swimming, cycling, aerobics and dancing.

It's admittedly disheartening to find that cleaning and even sex burn so few calories in comparison to typical exercise, but this infographic does provide some insight into which chores burn more calories than others. Want to go for a walk? Why not mow the lawn instead? You'll burn more and improve the look of your yard. 

If these numbers seem high to you, keep in mind that they represent calories burned for 196-pound and 164-pound people. If you weigh less, you'd burn less.