Can Housework and Yardwork Count as Exercise?

by Anthony Benjamin on Oct 12, 2022

Can Housework and Yardwork Count as Exercise?

Can Housework and Yardwork Count as Exercise?

Can housework and yardwork count as exercise? The short answer to this question is yes. However, there are many different factors that go into ensuring you’re getting enough out of your housework and yardwork. It’s also important to remember that it’s recommended that you mix your housework and/or yardwork with more traditional forms of physical activity to ensure you meet the requirements set by the CDC for fitness and health.

Does Housework Count as Exercise?

Unlike yardwork, housework can be a little less tasking. There’s less pushing and pulling, less bending down, and standing back up, as well as less lifting. Here are some ways you can burn some calories while doing housework.

When you vacuum, do lunges with every step. This combines traditional movements with the nontraditional movement of vacuuming. You can also handwash your dishes and clean up the kitchen after every meal. Depending on your weight, 30 minutes of this can burn up to 187 to 300 calories!

Every once and a while, a deep clean is also recommended. You can scrub mirrors with an up-and-down motion, get on your hands and knees to scrub the floors, and handwash your car, and vacuum the inside. Along with adding lunges, you can also integrate jumps and squats into everything you do. Another thing you can do to get your heart rate up and to challenge your endurance is to increase your speed. Try and complete certain tasks faster than you normally would. Of course, keep in mind that safety comes first. So, if you feel added speed would compromise your form or overall health at the end of a movement, don’t push yourself to do something that could end up being counterintuitive.

Does Yardwork Count as Exercise?

Yardwork is great for your overall health. A study done over 12.5 years on non-exercise physical activity stated that individuals see smaller waists, lower levels of harmful blood fats, and lower glucose and insulin, all associated with the amount of yardwork that is done.

Along with physical benefits, it’s been proven that time outside in the backyard or garden has psychological benefits too!  A few hours in the garden can reduce depression and anxiety symptoms, as well as lessen an individual’s likelihood of developing dementia by 36%.

Yardwork is also diverse in the types of physical activity it offers. Things like mowing the lawn, pulling weeds, and sweeping the patio are all cardiovascular exercises. While strengthening exercises includes lifting heavy pots, chopping wood, digging, and shoveling snow. These exercises target larger muscles groups, which, in turn, will help you burn more calories.

Housework and Yardwork Exercise Safety

It’s essential that you don’t skip your warm-up! While housework and yardwork are not typical forms of exercise, you’re still getting your body moving and conducting some possibly dangerous movements. It’s important that you warm-up your muscles and joints before you get started on your work.

Another thing to remember when doing housework or yardwork is to take breaks. Just like with regular workouts, you don’t want to overwork yourself or burn yourself out. The whole point of getting yourself moving is to improve your overall health. You can’t do that if you’re injured!

The Verdict

As mentioned before, yes, housework and yardwork are exercise. However, they are not conventional forms of exercise. So, you are best off by completing your chores and combining them with other, more traditional forms of exercise like bike riding or walking/jogging.

Overall, housework and yardwork are great, everyday ways to stay functionally mobile. From movements like getting up and down (kneeling or squatting position) to lifting from the floor and carrying heavy objects, these types of work are great for testing your endurance and overall strength.

ProCare Health 

At ProCare Health, we care about your health journey. We’re here for you through it all. From pre-surgery to post-surgery, we want all our bariatric patients to feel supported in everything they do to live a healthy lifestyle. For more information on the products and services we provide, take a look at our website at