Daily tasks require energy too. Sometimes even nice amounts. Discover how many calories mowing the lawn roughly burns and how to see more results.
While your actual results can vary but the average person will burn around 148 – 254+ calories per 30 minutes of mowing the lawn with a power mower at a moderate to vigorous pace.
Your body weight is one of the many details that influence where you are in this range.
The 148 calories burned are an estimation for a 125-pound (56 kg) person whereas the 254 calories are for a 215-pound (97 kg) person.
That aside, this article will also give calorie-burning estimations for other body weights, moderate vs vigorous effort lawn mowing, differences between lawnmower types, and more.
Biggest influences on calories burned mowing the lawn
Something important to keep in mind is that accurately estimating how many calories burn while mowing the lawn is hard to do. There are many details that influence this number but are hard to measure.
At the same time, you can still make your estimations somewhat more accurate by taking certain important details into account.
These details can also help you increase the number of calories burned per lawn mowing session. A few examples include:
- Weight: Your body burns calories to move itself around. Heavier bodies tend to require more energy per minute of moving.
- Body composition: Even if two people have the same weight, they can have different amounts of muscle mass. This is relevant because an amount of body fat tends to burn fewer calories than the same weight in muscle mass while mowing the lawn.
- Lawn mowing intensity: You can mow the lawn at different speeds. Really picking up your pace and stepping fast tends to burn more calories than strolling around.
- Terrain: Something specific to mowing the lawn is that not all terrains are the same. Mowing the lawn of a smooth grass field is a lot easier than bumpy terrain. Additionally, the number of turns you have to make can vary.
- Lawnmower type: There are lawnmowers where you sit down and steer, types that are self-propelled and you only have to guide, power mowers, hand mowers, and more. Which one you use can influence the number of calories you burn a lot.
Estimations calories burned while mowing the lawn
A cheat sheet from the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention notes that you can burn between 3.5-7 calories per minute while pushing a power lawnmower and more than 7 calories per minute while pushing a nonmotorized lawnmower (1).
You can even take one step further in terms of precision by using MET values. These are numbers that estimate (and sometimes measure) how much more intense activities are than sitting still.
In turn, you can use these MET values in the formula below to get rough estimations for how many calories mowing the lawn and other activities burn.
Formula: METs x 3.5 x (your body weight in kilograms) / 200 = calories burned per minute
Before going into the METs for mowing the lawn it should be clear that this formula is far from perfect. In turn, your actual calorie-burning results can still vary.
With that in mind one source mentions METs ranging from 2.5 at riding a mower to 6 at pushing a hand mower (2).
In the first table below, you can find the estimations of calories burned by using a power mower at a moderate or vigorous effort which is the most common.
After that, you can find tables comparing the number of calories burned for different effort levels and types of lawn mowing.
Calories burned with lawn mowing per time interval
Since you are likely not tracking your distance or counting your steps, you will likely prefer finding out how many calories mowing the lawn burns per minute and other time frames.
These estimations are for the number of calories burned by pushing a power mower at a moderate or vigorous effort.
|1 Minute||15 Minutes||30 Minutes||45 Minutes||60 Minutes|
|5 calories||74 calories||148 calories||221 calories||295 calories|
|6 calories||92 calories||183 calories||275 calories||366 calories|
|7 calories||109 calories||219 calories||328 calories||437 calories|
|8 calories||127 calories||254 calories||381 calories||508 calories|
Calories burned with moderate vs vigorous effort lawn mowing
As mentioned, how fast you walk around while mowing the lawn will influence how much energy you burn.
Below you can find some rough estimations about what this can mean in terms of calories burned per 30 minutes.
|Lawn Mowing Intensity|
|125 Pounds (56 kg)||133 calories||148 calories|
|155 Pounds (70 kg)||165 calories||183 calories|
|185 Pounds (84 kg)||197 calories||219 calories|
|215 Pounds (97 kg)||229 calories||254 calories|
Calories burned using different mowers
Lastly, you could also have the option to choose between different types of lawnmowers.
The less intense types will feel better in the short term but you do miss out on some valuable calorie burning. These numbers are again for 30 minutes.
|Riding Mower||Power (Push) Mower|
|125 Pounds (56 kg)||74 calories||148 calories||177 calories|
|155 Pounds (70 kg)||92 calories||183 calories||220 calories|
|185 Pounds (84 kg)||109 calories||219 calories||262 calories|
|215 Pounds (97 kg)||127 calories||254 calories||305 calories|
Ways to burn more calories when mowing the lawn
By now, you likely understand that you can influence the number of calories you burn while mowing the lawn. This can be good in the sense that it is possible to get more results in shorter amounts of time.
The most straightforward way to do this is to mow the lawn faster. Walking around at higher speeds tends to burn more calories.
An added benefit of this is that you may finish this task faster which leaves more time for other workouts (or other fun activities).
Secondly, you want to make it so your body has to move more weight.
The most realistic way to do this while mowing the lawn is to build some extra muscle mass with exercises outside of this task.
In theory, you could even wear a weighted vest while mowing the lawn to burn slightly more calories.
Can you lose weight from mowing the lawn?
You may wonder if the fact that mowing the lawn burns more calories means it can also help you lose weight.
This is true to some extent but there are still conditions. To lose weight by mowing the lawn, your habits in other lifestyle areas like diet need to be good enough too.
That aside, you can imagine you hit a weight loss plateau and the only thing you will change is mowing the lawn more often.
A 185-pound (84 kg) person burns around 437 calories while mowing the lawn for one hour.
In terms of body fat, this comes down to about 0.13 pounds (0.06 kg).
With the information that one pound of body fat is about 3500 calories (one kg +-8000 calories), you can make your own calculations for how much lawn mowing you would have to do.
An important thing to note is that you will only experience these weight loss results if you start mowing the lawn more often.
If you already did this regularly, you will likely not see any big differences.
Muscles worked by mowing the lawn
Pushing a lawnmower forward mainly works muscles like your glutes, quadriceps, calves, hamstrings, shoulders, and lower back.
You should not really expect any muscle growth in these areas since mowing the lawn is typically not challenging enough for this.
On the flip side, improving muscle endurance is still a good thing for many reasons.
Is mowing the lawn good for burning calories?
Mowing the lawn burns nice amounts of calories but at the same time, it is not too impressive compared to many other actual workouts.
You should likely see these amounts as a nice benefit of this necessary task. After this is done, you can turn to these more effective workouts.
It is worth mentioning that really picking up the pace and building muscle with resistance training can increase the number of calories you burn while mowing the lawn.
That aside, your habits in other areas still need to be good enough to make it so the calorie burning comes from body fat and not from food.