Here's Evidence That Housework Can Be As Effective As A Workout

27/10/2015 9:38 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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Nerdy man throws broom as javelin in his own special version of a track and field event

A click changes a television channel. A quick touch initiates a conversation with someone sitting two doors away. Heavy shopping bags are no longer a weighty struggle with online shopping on the click of a mouse. The ever-encompassing digital world, in its attempt to make life easier, has also made life more sedentary.

A recent report by global wellness company Stepathlon discovered that physical activity has declined by 70 per cent in the century. “And it’s going further down,” said co-founded Ravi Krishnan in an interview with HuffPost India. “It is reported that an Indian family gains an average of 8 kilograms for every gadget they acquire.”

It was based on this finding that Krishnan decided to find Stepathlon with partner Shane Bilsborough. Established in 2012, the company (now in its fourth year), been curating pedometer-based events especially for employees in different industries. They have currently engaged 500 companies participating in 600 locations across 54 countries in their programme. An avid fitness enthusiast, Krishnan also revealed that in 2010, approximately 5.3 million deaths (globally) were attributed to a sedentary lifestyle and smoking.

He explained how simply 30 minutes of activity a day, such as walking could reduce exposure to heart disease by 44 per cent, anxiety and pressure by 48 per cent, and arthritis by 47 per cent. “The idea is not to propagate body image,” he said, highlighting that every individual’s focus should be on doing something that was good for him or her.

Stepathlon’s basic goal for any of its participants is to complete 10,000 steps a day by performing every day activities that are otherwise ignored. “The average number of steps taken in India, for someone working in a sedentary lifestyle is about 2500 steps daily. We never walk to the fridge, we send someone else. We walk from the car parking to the building, and we will ask to the drop to the building as close as possible,” he said.

Surprisingly Krishnan, through Stepathlon’s findings discovered how effective just 30 minutes of housework are as a workout. If you find yourself missing out on exercise, here are some excellent (and super simple) methods to increase your steps and burn some calories every day.

30 minutes of climbing stairs = 19.5 minutes of skipping

Calories burnt: 285

climbing stair

Bonus tip: Avoid piling things at the bottom of the stairs to pick up in one go. Instead take each of them upstairs as many times as you can.

30 minutes of scrubbing the bathroom = 45 minutes of ballroom dancing

Calories burnt = 220

Bonus tip: Turn on some music, and get your Beyoncé moves on while you clean to make the chore more fun.

30 minutes of making beds = 12 minutes of jogging

Calories burnt = 130


Bonus tip: Instead of the closest parking space, aim for the farthest and walk the rest of the distance

30 minutes of washing the car = 32 minutes of yoga

Calories burnt = 143


Bonus tip: Ironing fresh laundry also makes for an additional workout: Keep the laundry basket on the floor, instead of up on a table. That way, you'll be constantly bending and stretching every time you reach out for clothes.

30 minutes of cleaning windows = 21 minutes of power yoga

Calories burnt = 125


Bonus tip: Instead of settling down in a chair to talk on a phone, walk around.

30 minutes of stocking your groceries = 18 minutes of badminton

Calories burnt = 110


Bonus tip: Use the rest room one floor up or down in your office, and take the stairs to get there.

30 minutes of painting and decorating = 25 minutes of walking

Calories burnt = 160

Bonus tip: Rub harder on the furniture by using polish in a tin instead of a spray

30 minutes of weeding your garden = 13 minutes of weight training

garden weeding

Calories burnt =115

Bonus tip: Don't have a garden? Hide all the remotes in your home, and switch channels/ air conditioning manually each time.

30 minutes of carrying shopping bags = 40 minutes of golf

Calories burnt = 190


Bonus tip: In the kitchen, keep yourself from preparing instant food from the microwave. Instead, peel, chop, stir, whisk, and beat all you want to burn more calories.

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