Doing household chores could actually help improve the fitness of your heart, a new study suggests.
Researchers from Queen's University in Canada have found that incidental physical activities -- defined as physical activity throughout the day associated with daily living, like climbing stairs, walking around the office or cleaning the house -- actually add up and can boost your cardiorespiratory fitness.
The study was recently published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.
"It’s encouraging to know that if we just increase our incidental activity slightly -- a little bit more work around the house, or walking down the hall to speak with a co-worker as opposed to sending an email -- we can really benefit our health in the long-term," study researcher Ashlee McGuire, a graduate student in kinesiology and health studies at Queen's University, said in a statement.
McGuire and Robert Ross, a professor at the university, included 135 obese men and women in their week-long study. They used accelerometers to measure the number of minutes per day they spent doing these everyday physical activities, as well as the intensity at which they did the activities.
Researchers found that the intensity seemed to matter the most, when seeing how these everyday activities contributed to overall cardiorespiratory fitness. The amount of time they did them for didn't matter as much, though, the study said.
Here, a list of seven common chores with potential calorie burns -- exact results will depend on several factors, including your weight:
Skip the elevator -- walking up and down the stairs for 10 minutes with your groceries can burn 85 calories for a 150-pound person, according to WebMD.
Doing your own car wash (instead of the professional one) can burn close to 150 calories.
Kill two birds with one stone by cooking a healthy dinner -- spending an hour doing so will help you burn close to 180 calories.
An hour of dusting blasts more than 150 calories for a 155-pound person -- double the satisfaction.
Gardening will torch more than 150 calories in just 30 minutes -- weeding can burn even more.
In the 30 minutes it takes to get the floor sparkling, you'll burn close to 130 calories.
Pushing a heavy vacuum around the house? You may as well be lifting weights -- an hour of dust-busting can torch 238 calories in a 150-pound person.
What household chores get your heart pounding?