For a variety of reasons you may have to move some furniture around. One benefit of this activity is that it burns extra calories.
You may be rearranging a room, moving, or maybe you need to move furniture for any other reason. In all of these situations, something that can make this task less unpleasant is knowing that you are burning a few extra calories.
The average person can expect to burn around 171 – 295+ calories per 30 minutes of moving furniture, household items, and carrying boxes. This number will vary from individual to individual due to a variety of factors.
For example, a 125-pound (56 kg) individual will burn around 171 calories while moving furniture for 30 minutes. On the other hand, a 215-pound (97 kg) individual will burn around 295 calories while moving furniture for the same duration at the same intensity.
This article will also show you a more detailed chart that takes multiple factors into account, the comparison between different moving intensities and objects, how to burn more calories while moving furniture, and more.
Biggest influences on calories burned
A fact that many people find annoying is that the number of calories you burn while doing something like moving furniture is hard to predict and measure correctly.
This fact can make things like weight loss feel like a guessing game when you are trying to balance these numbers with the calories in food.
Even so, good estimations for the number of calories burned while moving furniture can be a helpful starting point. By taking a few important factors into account you can make your estimations more accurate.
Some of the biggest factors that influence how many calories you burn while moving furniture include:
- Weight: To move around your body needs energy, measured in calories. The more you weigh, the more energy your body needs to fuel its movements.
- Body composition: Body composition is how much of your body weight is made up of different tissue. Two people can weigh the same but for one individual most of the weight can come from fat while the second individual has a lot of muscle. The reason that is important is that the same weight of muscle requires more energy than that weight in fat.
- Intensity: If you’re looking at calories burned per minute of moving furniture this can vary a lot by moving your body at a fast vs slow speed.
- Object weight: Different pieces of furniture have different weights. Moving a big heavy sofa will use up more energy than moving a light chair.
Hidden calorie burning from moving furniture
There are many other aspects that make it even harder to put how many calories you burn while moving furniture into an exact number. This includes the fact that the calorie-burning effects of moving furniture are not limited to during the workout.
As mentioned, how much you weigh plays a relatively big role in how many calories you burn. This doesn’t just apply to your workout, this is also the case during everyday activities.
Some people also build or preserve some muscle mass by moving furniture, especially heavy pieces. This amount of muscle mass will definitely not be as much compared to weight lifting but it does help you burn more calories day in, day out.
It is however extremely hard to put this amount into a number since this muscle mass will be so different from person to person. Individuals more experienced with resistance training may not build any muscle by moving furniture.
Doing an activity at high intensities can also cause something called “afterburn”. This is basically having an increased metabolism for a while after you stop doing the exercise.
Lastly, by moving your body more you influence the levels of certain hormones that in turn can benefit your metabolism.
Estimations for calories burned while moving furniture usually don’t take into account these effects.
Estimations calories burned moving furniture
The centers for disease control and prevention simplifies the number of calories burned while moving furniture into 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).
In reality, there are tools to make more precise estimations. To calculate calories burned during certain activities more specifically you can use a formula with MET values.
A MET value is an activity-specific value to indicate how intense a specific type of movement is. This number represents how many times more intense the activity is compared to sitting still.
You can use this in the following formula: METs x 3.5 x (your body weight in kilograms) / 200 = calories burned per minute
Estimations for METs while moving furniture depend a lot on intensity and weight and vary from 5 at moving light loads to 9 at moving household items upstairs (2).
You can look at the number of calories burned while moving furniture from different perspectives. The first table will show estimations for the calories burned 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.
Again, keep in mind that these are estimations. This formula doesn’t take into account certain important factors that do influence the number of calories burned while moving furniture.
To put these estimations into perspective, 100 grams of boiled potatoes contains about 87 calories (3).
Calories burned while moving furniture
One of the most convenient ways to see how many calories you burned while moving furniture is by looking at how much time you spent doing it.
These estimations are for the number of calories burned while moving furniture, household items, and carrying boxes.
|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 (83 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
Moving furniture is a wide category of different intensities and objects you can move. These activities will often burn different numbers of calories.
In the table below you can find estimations of calories burned with a few of these like moving light loads, moving heavy boxes upstairs, etc. when doing the activity for 30 minutes.
|155 Pounds (70 kg)||185 Pounds (83 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
The number of calories burned while moving furniture is certainly not something set in stone. There are a few ways you can increase this amount per time interval.
The challenge for most people is fitting in activities in their busy schedules. They want to burn as many calories in the least amount of time, which means burning more calories per minute of moving furniture.
If you do have more time, spending more time moving furniture will generally burn more calories although at some point overtraining may cause the reverse.
A more obvious way to burn more calories while moving furniture is doing the task at higher speeds and moving.
The second way to burn more calories while moving furniture is by making the weight you have to carry around heavier. In theory, you could do this by wearing a light weighted vest or wrist weights.
In practice, you want to choose heavier pieces of furniture (within a safe range for you) and/or build some extra muscle mass outside of your moving tasks with other exercises.
Can you lose weight from moving furniture?
Moving furniture is an activity that can help you burn a nice amount of calories. In combination with good habits in other lifestyle areas, this can then lead to weight loss.
A pound of body fat is about 3500 calories (one kg +-8000). How long it takes to see weight loss results from moving furniture will also depend on the number of calories in your diet.
One person might eat more than the other. This might make it so they need to exercise longer or more intensely to see the same weight loss results. You can even lose weight without exercising so there are many factors that influence it.
10 sessions of 30 minutes of moving furniture can help you burn an extra 2120 calories which are about 0.61 pounds of body fat. 30 sessions 6360 calories (= +- 1.82 pounds of body fat) and so on…
Keep in mind that losing weight too fast can be suboptimal. In general, a 500 calorie deficit per day is considered to be a healthy weight loss rate.
Should you move furniture to burn calories?
As you can see, moving furniture is a light form of exercise that can burn a nice amount of calories. That being said, there are also other activities that can help you burn more calories in a shorter amount of time.
You should likely see the number of calories burned while moving furniture as a nice benefit of this task. Once you are done, you can turn to other activities to really start seeing results.
If calorie burning is your main goal and you regularly move furniture, implementing some exercises in your schedule specifically for building muscle can be helpful.
The extra muscle mass will help you burn more calories day in, day out, including during your furniture moving sessions.
Also keep in mind that the things you eat stay important no matter what movement routine you’re following. It’s hard to out-exercise a bad diet.