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Calories Burned Doing Everyday Activities

by
author image William McCoy
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.
Calories Burned Doing Everyday Activities
Household activities such as washing your car can burn hundreds of calories. Photo Credit Mike Powell/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Many people do regular exercise to burn calories, but you don't have to change into shorts and running shoes to torch a few extra. Your body consistently burns calories as you perform everyday activities. While you won't want to forgo a regular cardio and strength-training regimen for vacuuming or raking leaves, you can put a little extra effort into your daily tasks to complement the calories you're burning at the gym.

Day-to-Day Activities

As you navigate through everyday life, you might be too preoccupied to think about the calories you burn. Your body never stops burning calories, and the rate increases as you perform certain tasks. Harvard Health Publications notes that during a 30-minute span, a 155-pound person burns 23 calories sleeping, 28 calories watching TV, 42 calories sitting and 93 calories cooking. The same person burns 130 calories in 30 minutes of feeding or bathing a child and 186 calories in half an hour of playing with her children.

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Working Around the Home

It's tempting to hire a contractor to perform work on your home, but if you're remotely handy, doing the work yourself will burn a few calories. A 155-pound person burns 112 calories during 30 minutes of electrical or plumbing work. In 30 minutes of indoor carpentry, carpeting, tiling, painting or wallpapering, the same person burns 167 calories. Outdoor activities burn calories at a slightly higher rate; a 155-pound person burns 223 calories in 30 minutes of outdoor carpentry or roofing.

Keeping a Tidy Yard

Beautifying your yard isn't just a way to keep up with the Joneses. If you frequently find yourself working in your yard on evenings and weekends, doing so can help you avoid weight gain. During a 30-minute span, a 155-pound person burns 149 calories raking the lawn, 167 calories gardening or using a snow blower and 186 calories stacking firewood or digging dirt. The same person burns 205 calories in 30 minutes of cutting the grass with a push mower and 223 calories shoveling snow.

Out and About

You might disdain rushing through everyday errands, but as you zip around the supermarket or wait for an available cashier, your body is burning calories. A 155-pound person burns 47 calories in 30 minutes of standing in line and 130 calories in 30 minutes of grocery shopping with a cart. Walking at just a moderate pace contributes to a steady calorie burn, too. The same person burns 149 calories during 30 minutes of walking at an average pace of 3.5 mph.

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References

Demand Media