It’s no secret that in order to lose weight, you have to burn more calories than you take in. If you eat 1800 calories worth of food in a day, you’d have to burn more than 1800 calories that day to lose weight. Your body already burns a certain amount of calories each day just by functioning, and you can burn even more calories by exercising. Many diets and weight-loss regimens require that you record your daily food consumption and physical activities to track that.
If you have been counting housework as an exercise and are not losing weight, it’s because housework is does not generally counted as exercise.
A study by BMC Public Health has found that people who record housework as an exercise weigh more than those who do not, according to an article published on BBC News Health.
Make no mistake, doing housework burns more calories than sitting in front of the TV. However, doing real exercise means you breathe harder, you feel warmer and your heart rate is elevated. If this isn’t happening when you do housework, than it’s not technically exercise.
The study found that 36 percent of moderate to vigorous physical activity recorded by participants was attributed to domestic housework. However, participants who recorded other types of moderate to vigorous physical activity weighed less.
“When talking to people about the amount of physical activity they need to stay healthy, it needs to be made clear that housework may not be intense enough to contribute to the weekly target and that other more intense activities also need to be included each week,” said study leader Marie Murphy of the University of Ulster.
So, the next time you are tempted to record your daily exercise as dusting off the bookshelves, think twice. Instead, go for a walk or climb some stairs. Chances are, if you start replacing housework as an exercise with actual heart-pumping activities, you’ll start seeing some results.