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Which DIY Jobs Burn The Most Calories

Which DIY Jobs Burn The Most Calories scaled

Long-avoided home projects or new improvements, such as tiling or painting, can demand a lot of physical effort and are therefore a good way to burn some calories indoors. 

Interested in that, sought to find which DIY jobs burn the most calories and what their level of intensity is.

To find the results, they asked three men of average weight (84.9kg) and three women of average weight (72.8kg) to do a variety of DIY tasks over the course of 15 days whilst wearing a Fitbit.

To provide a better understanding of the complexity of some tasks, the DIY expert from, Kane Hughes, commented on some highlights

The Results

High-level intensity 

The DIY job that burns the most calories is sanding, with men losing 456 calories per hour and women burning 392 calories. The task is also the hardest in terms of intensity level. According to the expert from, Kane Hughes, “Sanding is something most people can DIY. If you’re sanding furniture, such as tables and chairs, this can usually be done with sand paper and can take half a day for a whole dining room set”. 

Carpentry comes in second place, showing a high level of intensity: male respondents burned 438 calories in one hour and female respondents, 383 calories. Hughes advised: “To hang a door takes about twenty minutes to an hour and installing a door frame will take around the same amount of time. Skirting boards are a bit more complicated and to fit correctly in a room may take half a day”. 

Moderate level of intensity

Gardening is the first of the DIY tasks with moderate intensity, burning 337 calories per hour for men and 306 calories for women. Digging holes with an angled shovel, planting seedlings and cleaning up grass can be a good way to lose some calories! 

Low-level intensity

Putting up shelves can be considered a hard task for some people. found out that men lost 291 calories per hour, whilst women burned 249 calories, making it the DIY task with a low intensity that burns the most calories. 

The DIY job that burns the least calories is wallpapering. Men burned 217 calories per hour and women burned 180 calories. Putting up wallpaper is not easy, but it requires more mental effort than physical, as it needs to be cut to the correct lengths and patterns need to be perfectly aligned. 

Some of the highlights from Kane Hughes, DIY expert from 

Sanding a hallway with a staircase, doorframes and skirting boards to re-gloss is best left to the professionals and can take up to a week to complete with a belt sander.

With carpentry, hanging doors and installing door frames is best left to a professional carpenter as it has to be done correctly and measured perfectly, to ensure your doors open properly. To hang a door takes about twenty minutes to an hour and installing door frame will take around the same amount of time.

In regards to Gardening, weeding is easy to complete yourself and can take a couple of hours a month. Something more technical, like tree trimming or removing a tree stump, it’s better to hire a contractor as it’s safer for them to complete as they know what they’re doing (and may need the use of power tools) and shouldn’t take more than a day to complete.”


  1. As part of the experiment, recruited three male and three female respondents of average weight. According to the NHS Health Report, the average weight of a woman is 72.8kg. The average weight of a man is 84.9kg.
  2. Both subjects wore a Fitbit and completed DIY tasks over the course of 15 days to determine which job would burn the most calories.  
  3. As for the length of the DIY jobs, every task was completed for roughly 20 minutes and then had the results multiplied by 3 to get to a standardised measure of 1 hour per DIY job. 
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