Roofers burn more calories than champion boxers, study finds

Roman Fury and Stuart Chamberlain, Selco’s regional trading director.
Roman Fury and Stuart Chamberlain, Selco’s regional trading director.

Hardworking tradespeople burn more calories every day than many professional sportspeople, new research from Selco Builders Warehouse has revealed.

The builders’ merchant has taken an in-depth look and found that some tradespeople, including roofers, labourers, carpenters and painters are burning more calories on a daily basis than a professional boxer training for a high-profile bout.

The research found that boxers burn through around 800 kcals an hour in the build-up to a big fight, generally training for around four to five hours a day.

Roofers carrying heavy loads, meanwhile, burn 661 kcals an hour – but they typically do this for a longer period than five hours each day. According to the research, roofers work an average of 43 hours a week.

Heavy effort carpentry, meanwhile, uses 578 kcal per hour, the equivalent of 60 minutes of jogging, while planting by hand expends 496 kcal, comparable to a 60-minute cardio workout.

Shovelling is also similar to a 60-minute cardio workout at 479 kcal, while painting the outside of a house uses 413 kcal, the equivalent to a medium-effort resistant training workout such as squats, lunges or deadlifts.

Selco made these calculations by estimating MET values (used to indicate energy expenditure) for each activity. They then looked at how these compared to other popular physical activities such as running, team sports or gym workouts.

Roman Fury, brother of WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury and former tradesperson, who is sponsored by Selco and recently beat Martin Svarc on points in Saudi Arabia, said: “It was a good a victory over an undefeated fighter. I’m enjoying it, I’ve been pro for two years now and I’m riding the wave.

“It’s hard work but, as a former roofer and bricklayer myself, I know how strenuous the job is so I’m not at all surprised by these findings.

“It’s no wonder there are some extremely fit people in the trades when they are so physically active on a daily basis.”

Fury weighed in for his recent bout at 101.65kg. A man of his size can expect to burn 587 calories each hour while pounding a punch bag, 833 kcal when sparring, or 1,366 kcal when fighting in the ring.

Alison Wong, head of communications and sustainability at Selco, said: “The NHS recommends that each adult aged between 19 and 64 years should do least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity such as brisk walking or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity such as running a week, meaning many tradespeople could have already done their recommended amount of weekly physical activity before lunchtime on Monday!”

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