The average person burns 170 to 300 calories per hour cleaning.
The number of calories you burn will depend on your weight and the intensity of the cleaning activity. A 180 pound (81.65kg) person will burn 200 calories an hour sweeping with light effort, 215 calories per hour mopping, and 300 calories per hour scrubbing floors on hands and knees.
How many calories are burned cleaning?
Calories burned per minute = (MET x body weight in Kg x 3.5) ÷ 200
“MET” is a measurement of the energy cost of physical activity for a period of time. You can find an activity’s MET on the chart above.
A task with a MET of 1 is roughly equal to a person’s energy expenditure from sitting still at room temperature not actively digesting food.
A task with a MET of 2 uses twice as much energy as a task with a MET of 1. A task with a MET of 10 uses 10 times as much energy as a task with a MET of 1.
MET values “do not estimate the energy cost of physical activity in individuals in ways that account for differences in body mass, adiposity, age, sex, efficiency of movement, geographic and environmental conditions in which the activities are performed. Thus, individual differences in energy expenditure for the same activity can be large and the true energy cost for an individual may or may not be close to the stated mean MET level as presented in the Compendium.” (as quoted from the main page of the Compendium of Physical Activities).
A person weighs 180 pounds (81.65kg) and sweeps the floor (MET value of 3.3) for 1 hour (60 minutes).
Calories burned cleaning (per minute) = (3.3 x 81.65 x 3.5) ÷ 200 = 4.72
Calories burned cleaning (for 60 minutes) = 4.72 x 60 = 283
How to burn more calories cleaning
To increase the number of calories burned while cleaning:
- Do more vigorous cleaning activities
- Clean for a longer amount of time
Sources and more resources
- Ainsworth BE, Haskell WL, Herrmann SD, Meckes N, Bassett Jr DR, Tudor-Locke C, Greer JL, Vezina J, Whitt-Glover MC, Leon AS. The Compendium of Physical Activities Tracking Guide. Healthy Lifestyles Research Center, College of Nursing & Health Innovation, Arizona State University. Retrieved May 11, 2015, from the World Wide Web.
- Arizona State University Healthy Lifestyles Research Center – Compendium of Physical Activities – Home Activity – Provides MET values for home activities, including cleaning.
- Learn about “MET” and the compendium of physical activities from Arizona State University, University or South Carolina, and Wikipedia. There is a summary of general physical activities defined by intensity from the CDC and the Harvard School of Public Health.
- Recommendations on physical activity for health from the Harvard School of Public Health and the WHO.Find ideas for a housecleaning workout from Good Housekeeping, VeryWellFit, and Livestrong.