Housework isn’t enough to keep you healthy

18 October 2013        

Woman cleaning a window pane

People who count housework as physical activity are more overweight than those who don’t, a study has shown.

Over 4,500 adults were questioned about their activity levels and only 43 per cent reported meeting or exceeding the recommended 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity per week. Of these people, two thirds included at least ten minutes of housework in their weekly tally.

Chris Allen, our Senior Cardiac Nurse, said: “This survey suggests some of us may be overestimating how much physical activity we do by counting our housework as exercise.

“We should all aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity each week. Your exercise should make you breathe harder, feel warmer, and make your heart beat faster than usual. So, unless your household chores tick all these boxes, they won’t count.

“If you’re daunted by the prospect of a 150 minute target, think of it in ten minute chunks. It doesn’t necessarily mean forking out for a gym membership either - try a brisk walk on your lunch break or make a resolution to take the stairs rather than the lift each morning.”

The study was published in Bio Med Central’s journal BMC Public Health.