Some people enjoy mowing their lawn whereas most people find this chore unattractive and largely tedious.
If you are one of those who are particularly not fond of the mowing the lawn activity and just do it a necessary chore then there might be a silver lining for you, as it is with any other physical activity the task of mowing does burn calories and thus can prove to be a beneficial way of burning the extra inches that you have gained or just to remain fit.
While mowing your lawn might not necessarily burn as many calories as you do when running a marathon but still it does contribute to the burning of calories. If you have a sedentary lifestyle then burning calories while mowing the lawn can be a good option for you as you don’t have the required time or motivation to dedicate for special gym or training sessions.
So now coming to the point how many calories exactly do you burn mowing the lawn? Well, the answer to this is neither simple nor straightforward. We take a deeper look into it.
The factors affecting the burning of calories
There are several variables as well as factors that affect how much calories you burn when you are cutting the grass.
Some of the factors that affect your calories include your weight, type of lawnmower used, the intensity of lawn mowing and the state of the terrain amongst others. Let us have a brief look at how these factors play out and have an impact on the number of calories that you burn.
Your weight: One of the most important factors that affect the number of calories burnt is how much you weigh. For instance when you are exercising if you are heavier then you are likely to burn more calories than the person who weighs lighter than you.
So say for example if somebody weighs 125lbs and walks for one mile then they will burn fewer calories as opposed to someone who weighs 175lbs and walks the same distance.
The same concept applies to the mowing of the lawn. A heavier person doing the specific amount of mowing will likely lose far more calories in comparison to another person who weighs lighter and does the same amount of job.
Type of lawnmower: Another important factor that affects or impacts the number of calories burnt is the type of lawnmower that you use in your garden or lawn.
For example, if you use a riding or automatic lawn mower then you are likely to use far lesser energy and burn fewer calories in comparison to the lawnmower that you push manually.
Another lawn mower is the self-propelled lawn mower and if you use this type of lawnmower then you will burn more calories than the one you do when you automatic mower and burn fewer calories than when you use the manual lawnmower.
If you use a machine or a device like cordless weed eater then the amount of calories that you burn using this gadget is again going to differ then when you use other techniques.
The intensity of mowing: Another important factor that impacts the burning of calories is the intensity with which you cut the grass. To explain this if you mow the lawn slowly and gently without breaking much sweat then you are likely to burn far fewer calories as opposed to the session where you charge around and move intensely around the lawn mowing the grass as quickly as possible.
The state of the terrain: The makeup, structure, and state of the terrain also affect the number of calories you burn mowing the lawn.
This is because if you are mowing an uneven lawn then you need to exert more energy for mowing the lawn up and down as well as uneven terrains of the yard. Alternatively, if you are mowing the lawn of perfectly flat and straightforward terrain then you don’t have to put as much effort or energy in this task. Thus obviously you burn more calories in the former case than the latter.
Similarly, the grass length also affects the number of calories that you are likely to burn in the whole exercise. For instance, if you are cutting a tough and long grass that hasn’t been trimmed or worked on for a long time then you are likely to spend more energy thus more calories as opposed to the situation where the grass is regularly attended, trimmed and carefully manicured regularly. Thus there is no constant or set way of defining the burnt calories since those are defined by your weight, intensity of the session and the type of device used.
The method or the calculation of calories burnt
There are various ways in which you can calculate how many calories you have burnt during a specific process. One of the simplest and convenient ways of calculating the calories burnt is as follows:
Without considering the variable factors a 125lb person is likely to burn 3.8 cal/minute, a 150lb person is likely to burn 4.6 cal/minute and 175lb person is likely to burn 5.2 cal/minute. So if you want to calculate how many calories you burn when you are mowing the lawn you must multiply the number by the time it takes in minutes for you to mow the lawn.
For instance, if you take one hour in mowing the lawn then 3.8 x 60 = 228 calories ( for the 125lb person). Similarly you can calculate for people with different weight : 4.6 x 60 = 276 calories (for the 150lb person) and 5.2 x 60 = 312 calories (for the 175lb person).
Here it is important to note that this method does not take into consideration the various factors like the type of mower, conditions of the lawn and other similar related factors. However, this method does provide a rough calculation on the average number of calories that you might be burning for the specific task of mowing the lawn.
There is another method for the calculation of the calories burnt and this method is known as using the MET.
If you want a more accurate calculation than the previous one then you can choose to calculate the calories burnt using the method of MET. In this method the MET is the short form of “Metabolic equivalent of the task” and it is one of the ways of calculating how many calories are burnt depending on the intensity of the activity that you are performing.
The MET1 is equivalent to a person sitting still in a room with average room temperature and that person is actively digesting the food.
MET2 is the activity that uses twice as much energy as mentioned or specified in the first scenario. And so on it goes on as we move forward. So when you know the MET rating for each type of the mower then you can easily calculate the calories that are burnt more accurately as well as efficiently.
A mower that is riding has a MET rating of 2.5 whereas the self-propelled mower has the MET rating of 4.5 to 5 and the regular or standard push mower has the MET rating of 6. So the calculation can be done as mentioned below.
(MET x bodyweight measured in KGs x 3.5 / 200) x time measured in minutes.
Let us have a look at one of the samples or example to better understand this theory. We will calculate the number of calories that are burnt by the person that weighs 125lbs and that person is using the riding mower for 1 hour.
So So 125 Lbs = 56.7Kg,
2.5 x 56.7 x 3.5 / 200 = 2.48
2.48 x 60 = 148.8
So essentially the person that weighs 125lb and is mowing the lawn for an hour using the riding mower version will burn 148.8 calories.
Without going into the detailed calculations as above some of the other examples of people burning calories with different weights are as follows.
A person weighing 150lb on the riding mower = 178.5 calories
A person weighing 175lb on the riding mower = 208 calories
A person weighing 125lb on the push mower = 357 calories
A person weighing 150lb on the push mower = 428 calories
A person weighing 175lb on the push mower = 500 calories.
If the people are using the self-propelled mowers then the figure for the calories burnt is likely to be anywhere between those figures mentioned above. The two important factors to consider when measuring the calories burnt is the figures vary depending on the weight of a person as well as the type of mower used and mowing the lawn can prove to be quite a significant workout.
The number of calories burnt might vary depending on the different conditions however a strenuous and high-intensity mowing session can burn as many calories as a moderate workout.