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Does cleaning work as exercise?  |  Karolinska Institutet News

Does cleaning work as exercise? | Karolinska Institutet News

– It depends on what the alternative is. If the alternative is to go out and exercise or exercise regularly, then exercise is even better. But if the alternative is sitting, which is an independent risk factor for ill health, cleaning is best. Low-intensity physical activity, such as dusting or tidying, is a good way to break away from a sedentary lifestyle. Some physically demanding cleaning, such as vacuuming, can serve as pulse-pounding physical activity, which we recommend 150 to 300 minutes per week.

What about cleaning in professional life?

Unfortunately, physical activity done in professional life, for example when cleaning, does not seem to have the same positive health effects as physical activity done in leisure time. It's called the physical activity paradox. It has to do with the lack of recovery and the lack of ergonomics, but it also seems to play a role in how fun it is or not.

what are you looking for

– Among other things, I conduct research on prolonged sitting behavior in older people. As part of our research, we want to know how they move using motion sensors in older people. In combination with the interviews, we want to know what they do when they are physically active and what breaks up a sedentary lifestyle. Daily exercise and cleaning are important in this aspect.

Text: Annika Lund Medical Sciences No. 1, 2024