Good News: This Is How Many Calories You Could Burn While Cleaning Your Kitchen, New Study Shows

published May 24, 2023
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Close up of a young woman cleaning the kitchen counter at home
Credit: Marko Geber/Getty Images

Having a clean kitchen can feel like a full-time job. And a headache. And a workout. Luckily, as it turns out, the latter is actually totally true, according to a new study. Cleaning isn’t just good for your mental health — like any type of movement, it’s also good for your body.

A new study from home cleaning service company Homeaglow suggests that keeping your home clean has the potential to replace a workout (or, at least part of one). Yes, really! The company asked 10 professional cleaners to each wear Fitbits while cleaning five houses, then analyzed the amount of calories burned in each room. Of course, every person burns calories at a different rate, and everyone has their own fitness goals and preferences, which is important to keep in mind when looking at the findings. But depending on how vigorous your cleaning routine is, we have some good news.

When the cleaning pros went to work on one-bedroom, one-bathroom houses with a kitchen and a living room, they burned a whopping average of 830 calories overall — the equivalent of doing a high-intensity interval training workout for over an hour-and-a-half. For larger homes with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen, and a living room, they burned 1,311 calories — which sounds about right for four hours (238 minutes on average) of scrubbing, vacuuming, and mopping. 

The biggest cleaning workout of all homes, regardless of the number of rooms? You guessed it: The kitchen. The testers burned an average of 276 calories while cleaning the kitchen, maintaining an average maximum heart rate of 140 b.p.m., which is equivalent to jogging for just under 40 minutes. (I can’t remember the last time I jogged for that long.) This is likely because the cleaners spent more time cleaning the kitchen — 50 minutes vs. 36 minutes in the living room, 34 minutes in the bathroom, and 28 minutes in the bedroom. It may also be due to the nature of the cleaning involved in the kitchen, like vigorous scrubbing, or mopping. Either way, it’s a win!

While the findings of Homeaglow’s survey should in no way dictate how or whether you clean or exercise — they might allow you a little bit more grace for yourself. There are only so many hours in a day, and you’re probably getting more exercise than you may even realize. Keep up the good work, and check out these brilliant cleaning hacks to achieve even more within your cleaning routine.