Calories Burned While Weeding

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Find out how many calories you burn while weeding to find out whether this task offers other positive results too.

Some rough estimations are that the average person will burn around 133 to 229+ calories while weeding at a moderate effort for 30 minutes.

You do want to keep in mind that there are a variety of details that will influence your actual results.

That being said, even if these details go in your favor, weeding is typically not the best activity for burning a lot of calories.

Any positive results of this task are a plus but to see serious results you want to turn to other habits too.

This article will also go over more detailed estimations for different body weights and time intervals, how many calories different weeding effort levels burn, comparisons with other tasks, and more.

Estimations calories burned weeding

A cheat sheet from the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention mentions that weeding burns around 3.5 to 7 calories per minute (1).

Luckily, you can also use things like MET values to get more useful estimations.

These MET values are numbers that estimate (or sometimes measure) how intense certain activities like weeding are.

You can use these MET values in the formula below to estimate how many calories weeding burns.

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

One source mentions MET estimations for weeding of 3.5 at a light effort to 5 at a vigorous effort (2).

In the first table below, you can find the results for using different body weights and time intervals with the MET estimation of weeding at a moderate effort.

After that, you can also see the differences in results when using different intensity METs and how the calories burned while weeding compare to other gardening tasks.

You do want to keep in mind that these estimations are not perfect. Your actual results can vary.

Calories burned while weeding

You can revisit this chart after an afternoon of weeding to get an idea of how many calories you burned (at least if you keep track of time).

Weight Person
1 Minute15 Minutes30 Minutes45 Minutes60 Minutes
125 Pounds (56 kg)4 calories66 calories133 calories199 calories266 calories
155 Pounds (70 kg)5 calories82 calories165 calories247 calories330 calories
185 Pounds (84 kg)7 calories98 calories197 calories295 calories393 calories
215 Pounds (97 kg)8 calories114 calories229 calories343 calories457 calories
Chart of calories burned with moderate-effort weeding

Calories burned with weeding at different intensities

No matter what activity, how intensely you do it will influence the number of calories you burn.

In this table, you can see the results of weeding at different intensities for 30 minutes.

Weeding Effort
Weight Person
(Light Effort)
(Moderate Effort)
(Vigorous Effort)
125 Pounds (56 kg)103 calories133 calories148 calories
155 Pounds (70 kg)128 calories165 calories183 calories
185 Pounds (84 kg)153 calories197 calories219 calories
215 Pounds (97 kg)178 calories299 calories254 calories
Calories burned per 30 minutes of different weeding effort levels

Calories burned weeding vs other gardening tasks

While they likely all need to happen, it can be fun to know how weeding compares to other gardening tasks in terms of burning calories.

The table below includes estimations for 30 minutes of gardening tasks like mowing the lawn, shoveling dirt, raking leaves, etc.

Weight Person
Gardening Task
155 Pounds (70 kg)185 Pounds (84 kg)215 Pounds (97 kg)
Watering Lawn55 calories66 calories76 calories
(Light Effort)
55 calories55 calories55 calories
Raking Leaves139 calories166 calories193 calories
(Moderate Effort)
165 calories197 calories229 calories
Pushing Power Mower183 calories219 calories254 calories
(Vigorous Effort)
183 calories219 calories254 calories
Shoveling Snow194 calories232 calories269 calories
Shoveling Dirt201 calories240 calories279 calories
Calories burned per 30 minutes weeding vs other gardening activities

Influences on calories burned while weeding

As briefly mentioned, estimating how many calories weeding burns is extremely hard to do.

The main reason for this is that there are just so many details that are hard to measure but do influence your final results.

At the same time, knowing about the details that influence the number of calories burned while weeding a lot can improve your estimations.

The things below can also help you adapt your weeding sessions to make them more effective in this area:

  • Body weight: Your body uses up energy when moving around. Generally, the more you weigh, the more calories moving burns.
  • Muscle mass: Even if two people weigh the same, they can burn different amounts of calories while gardening due to differences in muscle mass.
  • Intensity: Taking your time and enjoying the sunshine vs really putting in the effort to get the weeding done will influence the amount of energy you burn. Generally, doing things at a faster pace will burn more calories per minute.
  • State of the garden: Not all weeds are the exact same, some will be more challenging than others. That means the state of your garden also determines how much energy the task will require from your body.

Ways to burn more calories while weeding

From the things above, you can already guess that weeding sessions can vary in terms of the calories they burn.

This is great since most people would love to get more results from the same task.

The main way to make your weeding sessions burn more calories is by doing them at a faster pace (if you can do so safely without injuries).

Additionally, by building some muscle mass with resistance training on other days, weeding will burn slightly more calories too.

In theory, you could wear something like a weighted vest while gardening to burn slightly more energy.

That being said, it is generally smarter to just complete the weeding faster and then turn to more effective.

At the same time, if you spend time in the garden for the fun of it, adding a weighted vest could be worth considering.

Can you lose weight from weeding?

If you are wondering about this, yes, the calories burned from weeding can theoretically help you lose a bit of weight.

That being said, your other lifestyle habits will influence your actual weight loss results a lot, and even then, weeding is not the most effective.

To show this, imagine that a 185-pound (84 kg) person is at a weight loss plateau.

The only change they make in their lifestyle is an afternoon of weeding.

This 185-pound (84 kg) person would burn about 876 calories which is about 0.25 pounds (0.11 kg) of body fat while weeding for 4 hours.

If you are familiar with the amount of energy in food, these are not the most impressive results.

Especially if you consider that any weight loss results from weeding will slowly go away if you don’t change any other lifestyle habits.

What muscles does weeding work?

Some of the muscles worked while weeding include your erector spinae (lower back), latissimus dorsi (middle/upper back), biceps, forearm muscles, triceps, deltoids (shoulders), chest, glutes (butt), hamstrings (back thighs), quadriceps (front thighs), and calves.

That being said, even if you never do any resistance training, weeding is typically not challenging enough to help you grow these muscles.

To do this, you would turn to resistance training workouts with heavier weights.

At the same time, the potential improvements in muscle endurance are still welcome.

Is weeding a garden good exercise for burning calories?

While it does help, weeding a garden is not that good of an exercise for burning calories.

This includes both during the “workout” and after.

You may feel your muscles working and even experience some endurance improvements but you will likely not build a lot of muscle with weeding.

If you like spending time in the garden, the extra calories you burn while weeding are still a nice bonus.

If not, you want to speed up your weeding session (to safe extents) so you can burn more calories per minute and have more time for more effective forms of exercise.

It is worth noting that building muscle mass with other workouts can make your weeding sessions slightly more effective in terms of burning calories.

These workouts involve a good amount of energy burning (and many other benefits) too.

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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.