Calories Burned Moving Furniture

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Find out how many calories you burn while moving furniture so you know how large the reward pizza can be (joking?).

Some rough estimations are that the average person will burn around 171 – 295+ calories per 30 minutes of moving furniture, household items, and carrying boxes.

That being said, details like your body weight, the exact weight of the things you are carrying, and more will influence your actual results a lot.

Later in this article, you can find a few charts with more precise estimations for different body weights and furniture moving intensities.

You will also discover how to burn even more calories during this task.

Biggest influences on calories burned while moving furniture

Something you want to keep in mind is that estimating (and measuring) the actual number of calories burned while moving furniture is hard to do.

There are many details that are hard to predict but do influence your results.

At the same time, by taking some of the most important ones into account, your estimations about how many calories moving furniture burns can become more accurate.

These details can also offer ideas on how to make this task (and your workouts) more effective for this goal.

Some of the things that influence calorie burning while moving furniture a lot are:

  • Body weight: While moving around your body burns calories as fuel. The higher your body weight, the more energy you will use up to move.
  • Muscle mass: Even if you weigh the same amount as someone else, you could burn more calories while moving furniture if you have more muscle mass.
  • Speed: How fast you walk and lift furniture (and how many pizza and beer breaks you take) will influence the number of calories you burn per minute.
  • Furniture weight: Different pieces of furniture have different weights. Moving a big heavy sofa will use up more energy than moving a light bag.

Estimations calories burned moving furniture

There are cheat sheets like the one from the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention that simplify the number of calories burned while moving furniture.

More specifically, between 3.5-7 calories per minute for light furniture and more than 7 calories per minute for moving or pushing heavy furniture (75 lbs or more) (1).

Luckily, you can find more detailed estimations for your specific situation.

There are MET values that estimate (or measure) how physically intense certain activities are.

You can use these values in the formula below to get estimations for how many calories moving furniture burns.

Formula: METs x 3.5 x (your body weight in kilograms) / 200 = calories burned per minute

As you can expect, MET estimations for moving furniture depend a lot on intensity and weight.

One source mentions an MET of 5 for moving light loads to 9 for moving household items upstairs (2).

In the first table below, you can find calorie burning estimations with the MET estimation of moving furniture, household items, and carrying boxes for different body weights and time intervals.

After that, you can find a chart comparing the number of calories burned for different furniture moving intensities and objects.

Keep in mind that these are very rough estimations. There are still other details that influence your results but are not included in the formula.

Calories burned while moving furniture

Being able to look at the clock after a moving session and estimate how many calories you burned is generally the most convenient to do.

Weight Person
1 Minute15 Minutes30 Minutes45 Minutes60 Minutes
125 Pounds (56 kg)6 calories86 calories171 calories257 calories343 calories
155 Pounds (70 kg)7 calories106 calories212 calories319 calories425 calories
185 Pounds (84 kg)8 calories127 calories253 calories380 calories507 calories
215 Pounds (97 kg)10 calories147 calories295 calories442 calories589 calories
Chart of calories burned while moving furniture

Calories burned with types of furniture moving

As anyone who has ever moved furniture can tell you, you will likely encounter objects of a variety of sizes and weights.

To get more detailed estimations, you can find estimation differences for moving light loads, moving heavy boxes upstairs, etc. when doing the activity for 30 minutes in the table below.

Weight Person
Moving Type
155 Pounds (70 kg)185 Pounds (84 kg)215 Pounds (97 kg)
Moving Light
183 calories219 calories254 calories
Moving Furniture
212 calories253 calories295 calories
Moving Objects
(>75 lbs)
275 calories328 calories381 calories
Moving Objects
Upstairs (25-49 lbs)
293 calories350 calories406 calories
Moving Household
Items Upstairs
330 calories393 calories457 calories
Calories burned per 30 minutes during furniture moving types

Ways to burn more calories while moving furniture

From the tables above, you will likely understand that how many calories you burn while moving furniture is not set in stone.

This is good to know in the sense that you can make the same task more effective in this area per minute.

The main way to do this is by moving the furniture at a faster pace (without overdoing it with the suboptimal lifting form).

Secondly, if you move furniture frequently, it can be worth doing more muscle growth workouts.

The extra muscle mass you gain from these will make you burn more calories per minute of moving furniture.

You could theoretically also wear a light weighted vest or wrist weights but many people will find this task challenging enough as it is.

Can you lose weight from moving furniture?

The numbers in the tables above may look impressive but you are likely more interested in actually losing weight during your moving session.

While I will give some examples, you do want to keep in mind that your actual results will depend a lot on lifestyle areas like your diet.

That being said, let’s say a 185-pound (84 kg) person with a routine that keeps them at the same weight has to do two furniture moving sessions of one hour each.

In that case, this person would burn an extra 1014 calories which is about 0.29 pounds (0.13 kg) of body fat.

Another important thing to note is that if this is really a one-off furniture moving session, this person will gradually regain this weight over time if they don’t make any other changes.

Is moving furniture a good workout for burning calories?

Moving furniture is a decent workout that can help you burn a nice amount of calories.

At the same time, there are definitely more effective exercise alternatives that offer more results in a shorter amount of time.

In simpler words, you should likely see the calories you burn while moving furniture as a nice bonus of a necessary task.

If you really want to burn calories, lose weight, and get fitter, you likely want to invest your time in these more effective workouts (after the move).

People who have a job as professional movers can build some muscle outside of their working hours to burn more calories throughout the day.


Does moving furniture count as cardio?

Yes, you can count moving furniture as a form of cardio.

This can range from very light with light objects to a nice cardio workout while moving something like a couch.

Does moving furniture burn calories?

Yes, moving furniture burns calories.

As an example, a 155-pound (70kg) person would burn around 212 calories while moving furniture at an average pace for 30 minutes.

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Matt Claes founded Weight Loss Made Practical to help people get in shape and stay there after losing 37 pounds and learning the best of the best about weight loss, health, and longevity for over 4 years. Over these years he has become an expert in nutrition, exercise, and other physical health aspects.