How Many Calories Do You Burn Working in the Woods?

I became interested in just how many calories are expended doing the basic work to manage a forest after being told many times by landowners “I don’t need a health club because of all the work I do in my woods.”

So I visited a variety of health websites to find the number of calories burned in different activities based on weight. Some sites are very specific and ask age, and gender (or may ask you to sign in). I found that Calorielab, Nutristrategy and Aerobicgardening had the categories I was looking for.

I used 150 pounds as the base weight. If you weight that and work for an hour at an activity you will expend approximately the calories listed. If you weigh less then you use less, and if you weigh more extra calories will be burned. You can compare it to jogging that uses 292 calories per hour for 150 pound person. Or circuit training in a gym that uses 668 calories per hour.

Working in your forest may not use as many calories as a hard workout in a gym, but it has many more benefits—not the least of which is that it never gets boring or old. You can choose which job you want to do each day to maximize the effect on your forest… and on your body.

Work or Activity

Calories used in 1 hour

General housework light

176

Gardening general

281

Mowing with walk behind power mower

387

Watering garden or lawn

106

Shoveling snow by hand

422

Firefighting–hauling hose on ground

563

Chopping with a hand ax– fast

1196

Chopping with a hand ax–slow

352

Carrying firewood by hand

774

Sawing by hand

493

Trimming/pruning trees

633

Fishing from bank

281

Planting seedlings

324

Planting potted trees

364

Removing brush

404

Splitting wood

486

Walking in your woods–leisurely

292

Walking in your woods–fast (4 mph)

334

Resting in a sunny spot

72

Sitting quietly watching the trees grow

80

By Jim Freed, WSU Extension Forest Products Specialist, freedj@wsu.edu

Jump to the latest Announcements, Events and Other News