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Housework No Substitute for Exercise, Researchers Say

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Doing housework is certainly a good thing but it's no substitute for a good workout at the gym.

Researchers at Ireland's University of Ulster say that the more people report doing chores around the house as exercise, the heavier they tended to be than others who do moderate or vigorous physical activity such as running, biking or aerobics.

The team based its findings on interviews with 4,600 people who discussed their regimen of physical activity on a weekly basis.  For the most part, women and older adults said a large part of their exercise came from doing household tasks.

By and large, those who gain weight anyway despite doing housework either underestimate the intensity or duration of their chores or overestimate how many calories they're actually burning up.

For instance, a half-hour of vacuuming or sweeping floors burns about 130 calories.  But spend 30 minutes on a regular bike or even a stationary bike and you'll shed 400 calories.

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ABC News Radio