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.
|1 Minute||15 Minutes||30 Minutes||45 Minutes||60 Minutes|
|125 Pounds (56 kg)||6 calories||86 calories||171 calories||257 calories||343 calories|
|155 Pounds (70 kg)||7 calories||106 calories||212 calories||319 calories||425 calories|
|185 Pounds (84 kg)||8 calories||127 calories||253 calories||380 calories||507 calories|
|215 Pounds (97 kg)||10 calories||147 calories||295 calories||442 calories||589 calories|
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.
|155 Pounds (70 kg)||185 Pounds (84 kg)||215 Pounds (97 kg)|
|183 calories||219 calories||254 calories|
|212 calories||253 calories||295 calories|
|275 calories||328 calories||381 calories|
Upstairs (25-49 lbs)
|293 calories||350 calories||406 calories|
|330 calories||393 calories||457 calories|
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.