by Danielle L Green, Director of Gardens & Grounds, Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens
Top Tropicals recently posted a great article on what a great workout gardening is and quantified elements of what we do everyday with how many calories are burned. What a simple reminder that what we do for a living is what many have to pay for at a gym! Remember that mobility is a critical part of our ability to do our job over time, so don’t forget your warm up stretches!
We all know that gardening provides a bit of exercise, but we do not realize how much exactly. Research has determined that three hours of gardening can have the same effect as an intense one-hour gym session. The study was carried out with a group of 100 gardeners who were asked to monitor the amount of time spent doing a series of common gardening tasks over a four-week period. Gardening tasks that were monitored included weeding, digging, mowing lawns, hedge trimming, trimming shrubs and trees, raking, planting shrubs, and moving garden waste using a wheel barrow. Here are some facts and numbers:
- Just half an hour of weeding can burn up to 150 calories and tasks that involve handling heavy electrical equipment such as hedge trimming will burn 400 calories per hour.
- Spending one day or five hours each week in the garden will burn roughly 700 calories.
- A gardening season that burns 20,000 calories per year is the equivalent to running seven marathons!
- Gardening could help burn a million calories over a lifetime.
Here are some figures for calories burned in one hour of various activities:
340 calories: chopping wood, splitting logs, gardening with heavy power tools, tilling a garden, operating a chain saw, mowing lawns, walking, operating a hand mower, shoveling by hand
272 calories: carrying, loading or stacking wood, loading/unloading or carrying lumber, digging, spading, filling garden, composting, laying crushed rock or sod, clearing land, hauling branches, wheelbarrow chores
238 calories: operating blower, walking, planting seedlings/shrubs/trees, trimming shrubs or trees, operating a manual cutter, weeding, cultivating garden
224 calories: raking lawn, sacking grass and leaves
136 calories: picking fruit off trees, picking up yard, picking flowers or vegetables, walking, gathering gardening tools
102 calories: walking, applying fertilizer, or seeding a lawn
34 calories: watering lawn or garden, standing or walking