You’ve heard people say it before, working is not regular exercise. Tell that to your aching body at the end of the day!
What should be said is that work should not be your only exercise, since the truth is that working burns calories, too, and the heavier the work, the more calories burned.
The body needs about 12 calories per pound of body weight every day to keep the organs functioning and maintain normal body temperature. That means, if you weigh 200 lbs, you should eat 2,400 calories (12 x 200 lbs) per day just to stay alive.
Additional calories are needed to fuel every other activity, including work activities.
Using the chart below, you can figure out about how many calories you burn during a work shift, based on the activity and how long you perform it.
|Building a road (including hauling debris, driving heavy machinery)|
|Carrying moderate loads upstairs (16 – 40 lbs)|
|Carrying heavy loads (such as bricks)|
|Directing traffic for road building|
|Heavy shoveling (more than 16 lbs/minute)|
|Loading and unloading a truck|
|Moving, pushing heavy objects (75 lbs or more)|
|Remodeling (outside construction)|
|Using heavy power tools (jackhammer, drills, tampers, etc.)|
|Using heavy tools, no power (pick, spade, etc.)|
|Walking, carrying objects 25 – 49 lbs|
|Carrying objects 50 – 74 lbs|
|Carrying objects 75 – 99 lbs|
|Carrying objects 100 lbs or more|
When balancing the calories you take in with the calories burned, include work activities, but remember that the road to a healthier body should also include regular recreational exercise, too. Both activities burn calories; one is just a lot more fun.
For more information, contact the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) office nearest you, or visit www.calorielab.com.