Cleaning as Exercise?

Cleaning as Exercise?

Regina Yunghans
May 14, 2010

It seems such a funny concept now, but way back when, housekeeping was touted as not just a daily chore but as a way to stay fit!

This article dating back to 1936 in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette includes, "All of the reaching motions of housework may be just so many stretching contributions to your beauty regime: dusting, putting dishes up on a high shelf or taking them down, hanging curtains."

Of course, this was in the day that housekeeping was only for women, so some of the tips are downright offensive if not simply hilarious. But, outdated gender assumptions aside, maybe there's still some relevance here. After all, a 155-pound person can burn 320 calories in an hour of vigorous housecleaning (similar to an hour of low-impact aerobics, leisure bicycling, or light calisthenics). Don't all of us - male and female - love a chance to streamline our lives by multipurposing parts of our daily routine?

Let's hear it: do you ever incorporate a little workout into your housecleaning routine? How do you do it?

Image: Netherlands National Archive

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