Any activity that elevates the heart rate will burn calories. Calories burned painting furniture or walls won't exceed what you work off in traditional forms of exercise, but this challenging physical movement can play a role in keeping you healthy. So, next time your house needs a makeover, DIY.
The number of calories you burn depends on your weight. A 155-pound person can expect to have 167 calories burned painting furniture or walls per 30 minutes painting inside and 186 calories per hour painting outside.
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Painting Calories Burned Per Hour
Painting the walls inside your house burns calories at the same rate as walking at 4 mph, according to an August 2018 review from Harvard Health Publications. A 155-pound person burns 167 calories performing the task for 30 minutes, while someone who weighs 185 pounds burns 200 calories in the same time frame. Painting your interior walls, notes Harvard Health Publishing, also burns calories at the same rate as applying wallpaper and performing general interior remodeling.
For outside walls, you burn more calories. Painting exteriors for a 155-pound person burns 186 calories per 30 minutes, and a 200-pound person burns 222 calories for a half an hour as well. This calorie burn is comparable to walking at 4.5 mph.
You can also burn more calories painting other areas of the house. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), calories burned painting and in other home construction tasks both inside and outside the home range from 3.5 to 7 calories burned per minute, depending on the intensity level and body weight.
Strengthen Your Muscles for Painting
Painting works the arm and shoulder and provides a good workout, allowing you to burn calories doing chores around the home. The muscles used when performing this activity include the following:
Middle, upper and anterior deltoids. These muscles make up the shoulders and are a few of the most important muscles you use daily, according to a September 2014 review from the American Council on Exercise (ACE).
Biceps. These arm muscles are used for flexing the elbow, says the University of Wisconsin Sports Medicine.
Pectoralis major. According to
ACE, the pectoralis major is involved in shoulder adduction.
To strengthen these muscles and not grow as tired for painting projects, you can add the following movements to your exercise regimen:
Move #1: Dumbbell Shoulder Press
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart with your knees slightly bent.
- With a dumbbell in each hand, push your arms up until they are even with your shoulders.
- Continue to press the dumbbells up until your arms are extended overhead.
- Lower your arms back to the shoulders to finish.
- Do 2 sets of 10.
Move #2: Bicep Curls
- Hold a barbell or dumbbells in each hand with both hands facing up so the wrists, elbows and shoulders are in a straight line.
- Lift the weight(s) toward the shoulders while bending the elbows. Keep your chest still.
- Be sure to keep your elbows next to the middle of your body.
- Slowly return the weight to the starting position.
- Do 2 sets of 10 on each arm.
Move #3: Push-up
- Kneel on an exercise mat or floor.
- Bring your feet hip-width apart behind you.
- Move your hands shoulder-width apart.
- Shift your weight forward until your shoulders are directly over your hands.
- Contract your glutes and abs and make sure you align your head with your spine.
- Slowly lower your body toward the floor, keeping your body straight.
- Continue lowering yourself until your chest or chin touches the floor.
- Press upward through the arms while keeping your body straight.
- Keep pressing until your arms straighten out.
- Do 1 set of 10 reps.
By strengthening these muscles, other home projects might not feel so demanding on your body. For example, the calories burned painting furniture and the calories burned decorating your home could rise because you can continue for a longer period of time.
- Harvard Health Publications: “Calories Burned in 30 Minutes for People of Three Different Weights”
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “General Physical Activities Defined by Level of Intensity”
- American Council on Exercise: "Dynamite Delts: ACE Research Identifies Top Shoulder Exercises"
- University of Wisconsin Sports Medicine: "Rehabilitation Guidelines for Distal Bicep Tendon Repair"
- American Council on Exercise: "Muscles That Move the Arm"