What Is A Normal Heart Rate When Doing Housework?

Chores aren’t fun. In fact, they can be both mentally and physically taxing, so don’t worry if your heart seems to be doing a little bit of extra work.

What Is A Normal Heart Rate When Doing Housework

After all, what you’re essentially doing is a form of exercise.

Having said that, if your heart (see also: Can You Die From a Heart Murmur?)rate seems abnormally high after performing relatively mild tasks, it could well be a sign that you should get yourself checked out.

A normal heart rate during everyday activities such as housework should be between your resting heart rate and 50–70% of your maximum heart rate, although, this can change per minute and is subject to a variety of variables, such as activity, age, and of course, physical fitness.

Not sure how to work out your resting or maximum heart rate? No worries. I’m going to guide you through the process here today.

Should My Heart Rate Rise When Doing Housework?

Yep, your heart rate should absolutely go up a bit when you’re doing your chores, especially if you’re up and down stairs, reaching up high, or bending down low.

Those who are particularly fit and healthy, such as athletes or exercise-mad youngsters may not see much of an increase, but the vast majority of the population should.

As mentioned a moment ago, to figure out if your heart rate whilst doing housework is in the normal range, you first have to know how to calculate your resting and maximum heart rate, so let’s cover that next.

How To Figure Out Your Resting Heart Rate

I hope you’re ready to kick back and relax, because that’s the only way you’re going to find out what your resting heart rate is.

Sit or lie down and relax for a few minutes, taking nice, easy breaths. When you’re feeling sufficiently chill, grab a stopwatch (or use your watch/phone) and count your pulse for a minute.

Whatever you land on when that minute is up is your resting heart rate.

Normal ranges by age are as follows:

  • 0 to 1 month — 70–190 bpm
  • 1 to 11 months — 80–160 bpm
  • 1 to 2 years — 80–130 bpm
  • 3 to 4 years — 80–120 bpm
  • 5 to 6 years — 75–115 bpm
  • 7 to 9 years — 70–110 bpm
  • 10 years + — 60–100 bpm
  • Peak condition — 40–60 bpm

How To Calculate Maximum Heart Rate

How To Calculate Maximum Heart Rate

So we have our resting heart rates; why do we then need our maximum heart rate? Well, because we need it to establish our normal heart rate whilst doing moderate exercise. 

Remember, normal heart rate while doing housework should fall somewhere in between these two ranges or into a slight overlap at either end of the ranges depending on the intensity of the activity.

To figure out your maximum heart rate, all you have to do is minus your age from 220. So, for example, if you’re 50 years young, you’ll do 220 – 50, which is 170.

That’s literally it — Easy, right?

Figuring Out Your Normal Heart Rate For Moderate Exercise

Now you have your maximum heart rate noted down, you’re ready to figure out what a normal heart rate would be for you when doing moderate exercise.

Now, I know the term “moderate exercise” is quite broad, so let’s quickly introduce a bit more definition before we do some maths.

Anything from a brisk walk to dancing can be considered moderate exercise, so housework typically falls just shy of the moderate exercise threshold.

Okay… back to the sums!

We’re trying to figure out 50 to 70% of our maximum heart rate, so, if you’re 50 and your max heart rate is 170, to find your lowest heart rate during moderate exercise, you’d simply divide it by 2, giving you 85.

And to find your normal heart rate at the higher end of the moderate exercise spectrum, you’d do 170 ÷ 10 x 7, which would be 119 beats per minute.

Normal Heart Rate For A 50-Year-Old Doing Housework

Now we’re ready to make some conclusions.

Our hypothetical 50-year-old’s resting heart rate should be 60–100 bpm, and our moderate exercise heart rate should be 85–119 bpm. 

So, using the median of both ranges, which is to say, the middle number of each range, we can say that the approximate normal heart rate of a 50-year-old while doing housework should be 80–102 bpm.

What If My Pulse Is Way Higher Than The Average Range?

Should your heart rate be alarmingly high after doing simple housework, it’s most likely a sign that you’re not in the best shape at the moment, but there are various other possibilities.

You might also be coming down with or recovering from some sort of mild illness.

And if you had a few drinks last night, that will certainly lead to a higher heart rate after not much movement. Or, perhaps the cause of your skyrocketing heart rate isn’t physical at all. 

Merely thinking stressful thoughts can send our pulses racing, so if you’re under stress or thinking about stressful things while doing your housework, it will contribute to a higher heart rate.

You should also consider the strenuousness of the tasks at hand. Ironing and folding laundry, for instance, isn’t going to have the same impact on your pulse as hoovering or carrying things up and down stairs.

The worst possible scenario is that you’re developing some sort of serious cardiac ailment, which is unlikely if you’re a relatively healthy individual, but it’s always best to check in with a doctor just to make sure.

What If My Pulse Is Slower Than The Normal Resting Rate?

Sometimes a slow pulse is indicative of a super healthy individual, so if you live a very active lifestyle and count a low heart rate after doing housework, congrats, you’re in great shape!

On the other hand, if you don’t have a very healthy lifestyle, a heart rate well below the normal range could be a sign that something isn’t quite right and that you should book an appointment with your doctor ASAP.

Final Thoughts

There you have it — “Normal” heart rate is variable, but now you know how to work it out for yourself while doing housework by using your resting and maximum heart rates.

As long as you’re in or very close to the normal range, you’re doing great. If not, pay your doctor a visit to get a professional opinion.

Clare McAfee
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