01 of 03
How Many Hours Do We Mow Each Year?
Let's take a walk with a lawn mower, maybe 20 or 30 times.
Why? Because the growing season dictates that most North American lawn owners will mow between 20 – 30 times each year, depending on the weather, fertilizer and the owner's diligence.
In this article, we guesstimate lawn care hours, walking miles, and potential calories burned.* Our example throughout this article will use the following assumptions:
- One-quarter acre of lawn (10,890 square feet, excluding house, driveway and other landscape features)
- 26 mows per year with a gas-powered walk-behind mower with a 24” mower base
- 20” swath per mow (after 4” swath overlap is eliminated) This results in 1.24 miles of walking to completely mow the area, plus 416 linear feet of trimming, for a total of 1.35 miles walked.
- This example uses a walking pace of one mile in 35 minutes, which results in about 48 minutes to mow and trim a quarter-acre lawn. The pace is slower than you might walk on a street or trail, but it allows for trees and objects in the lawn, hills and the inevitable mower turns at the lawn’s edge.
- No grass bagging; clippings remain on lawn
Using those assumptions:
Total annual hours mowing and trimming: 19 hours plus almost two hours trimming.
Each mow and trim: 48 minutes approximately.
Your own quarter-acre lawn could be more or less, of course.
To learn about walking miles and calories, and the cost of professional lawn service, please use the arrows to go to the next pages.Continue to 2 of 3 below.
02 of 03
More to Lawn Care than Mowing and Trimming
Mowing and trimming are not the end of the story when it comes to green grass. Lawn care includes spreading lime, fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides, thatching and aerating, overseeding, patch repair, watering, mower maintenance, and leaf removal. My back-of-the-envelope estimate shows that the quarter-acre in our example could take the equivalent of 35 hours--about one work week--over the course of a growing season.
A professional lawn service that mows, trims, applies treatments and removes leaves from a quarter-acre lawn can cost between $1000 (mow and trim only) to $3500 (all services). Lawn care prices depend, of course, on the region, how many services are purchased and the cost of materials such as fertilizers. Also, professionals who obtain certifications, get licensed and carry insurance have to charge more for their services. (They probably deliver better service as well.)Continue to 3 of 3 below.
03 of 03
Miles Walked and Calories Burned by Lawn Care
Lawn care has some exercise value.
Mowing and Trimming: According to several sources, such as Web MD, walking behind a mower burns between 250 – 350 calories per hour. A person mowing and trimming* one-quarter acre would walk about 1.35 miles and burn about 230 - 300 calories. He or she will walk 35 miles per year if we assume 26 mows. (See the first page of this article for a complete list of assumptions.)
Comparison: The 250 calories in this example is about equivalent to walking more than two miles at a steady pace. The calorie burn depends on body weight and the strenuousness of the task. Pushing a mower works the upper body more than walking.
Thatching and aerating, leaf removal and some other activities may burn more calories than mowing.
* According to CalorieLab.com, it takes about 200 calories per hour to run a power trimmer. If so, you might burn an extra 10 - 15 calories each time you make the edges tidy on a quarter-acre lawn.