For someone weighing 170 pounds, for example, spending 60 minutes on such chores as dusting, doing the laundry, ironing or vacuuming burns 155 calories, whereas grocery shopping burns 232 calories, mowing the lawn (by pushing, not riding, the mower) burns 309 calories. By comparison, more strenuous activity such as climbing stairs for an hour burns 464 calories while jumping rope clocks in at 618 an hour and running at 773 calories for a 10-minute-mile pace.
No matter the activity, burning more calories than you eat should result in weight loss (just as eating more calories than you burn may add pounds). Weight-loss experts generally say that to lose a pound, you need to burn 3,500 more calories a week (500 more per day) than you consume. To see the caloric value of other activities go to caloriecontrol.org (click on “menu,” then “healthy weight tool kit,” then “Get Moving Calculator”).
— Linda Searing