Parents vs office workers - who racks up the most miles?

Like a lot of people, I thought maternity leave was going to be a relaxing break from full-time work. That I would get a lot of downtime with my baby and get to unwind. Maybe catch up on a boxset, read some books, take long baths. Oh my goodness, I couldn't have been more wrong! Especially as new research from Graco reveals that new parents are actually MORE active than office workers who regularly exercise. Don't believe me? Let's take a look at the research!

The report surveyed 502 parents with children aged three and under and 502 office workers who go to the gym at least three times a week. Parents spend an average of nearly eight hours on their feet, in comparison to the office workers spending an average of just five hours on their feet. Nearly a third of parents spend more than 10 hours on their feet while nearly half of office workers polled spend less than four hours a day up and about. 

As a mum I often say that I am on the go all day, but when I was working full-time I regularly had breaks and time to myself. Graco's research shows that 39% of new parents only find time to relax and put their feet up once a week or less. Whereas office workers spend on average six hours a day sitting down. The research findings also show new parents are truly non-stop, enjoying a relaxing bath on average only once every eight months, and having little time for luxuries such as going to the cinema (on average visiting once per year) and going out for drinks (on average once every nine months, or for the whole duration of an average pregnancy). 

And who needs a gym when you're a parent? On a normal day, parents can carry up to 6kg so when this is combined with the additional weight of a baby, this adds up to over 17.5kg – the equivalent of lugging around a heavy suitcase! This compares to the 5kgs that an office workers could be carrying around on an average day. In addition, parents carry their little ones for approximately two and a half hours each day with nearly one in seven (13%) spending over four hours each day carrying their bundles of joy.  

And let's not forget about sleep. Or the lack thereof. It's no surprise that mums and dads are often tired as new parents report a mean total average of 6.3 hours sleep per night which is well below the recommended daily amount. The report shows that 60% of office workers enjoy more than six hours of slumber each night. Not. Jealous. At. All! 

To see how my daily life compares to that of the parents surveyed, Graco sent me a Fitbit to record my average day. I was amazed to see that I was racking up well over 7,000 steps each day, rising to over 10,000 when I had errands to run. And the Fitbit also recorded that while I spend around 7 hours sleeping, I'm being woken between two and four times a night. No wonder I'm so tired when I am running around all day after the children, running errands and all on such little sleep!

Tanith Carey who is a parent and author of Parent Hacks, shared her top life hacks on how parents can make the most of their day and create a time effective and easy routine. These are the ones I have been putting into practice:

1. Forget bulky handbags which can turn into bottomless pits and get in the way when you’re on the go with a little one. When you’re racking up the miles behind your pushchair, free up your hands by wearing a backpack instead.
2. To give you the ultimate freedom to get out of the house whether you’re on a day-out, shopping, or climbing stairs, choose a light weight pushchair. At 3.6kg, the Graco Featherweight is about the weight of an average new-born baby, and suitable from birth to 15kgs or approximately three years.
3. Go shopping at the quietest times – early morning is good. With young children, you’re more likely to be up than the rest of the adult population.
4. To cut down on the time you spent on your feet and out and about, group your errands together by choosing a supermarket, or shopping area, that has other services you need, like dry-cleaning, shoe-mending, a pharmacy and postal services.
5. Choose one accessible pocket in your bag where - without fail - you ALWAYS put your essentials such as travel pass, debit card, phone, and keys when you’re on the move. That way you will avoid panicky moments rooting around to find them - or worrying you’ve left them somewhere.
6. Get friendly with your neighbours – and particularly any new mums in your streets.  See if you can do errands for each other while you are out and also swap child-care. 

The hack about planning errands is one that I now apply almost every day. It makes so much sense to plan the errands that I need to run so that they are done in groups, meaning I am not running around all over the place all day. I've noticed that doing this has reduced the steps counted on my Fitbit, I'm no longer hitting over 10,000 as I am more efficient in what I need to get done. And choosing a lightweight stroller gave us so much more freedom on our recent holiday to the Isle of Wight. It meant we only had to take one car instead of two to fit us all in, and the Featherweight took up much less space in the restaurants we went to.

Weighing only 3.6kg, the new Graco Featherweight is a lightweight, pushchair which has lie flat capability making it suitable to use from birth. With a nifty one-hand fold system and carry strap, the Graco Featherweight enables parents to easily fold and place the pushchair onto their shoulder to keep effortlessly on the move. 

The Featherweight is available in Graco’s range of new fashionable fabrics: Chilli Red and Black Grey. The pushchair comes with a whole host of additional features including a zip-removable seat pad that is machine washable, a handy storage basket, and adjustable canopy with sun visor. Further dedicated accessories can be added (kit sold separately) including a raincover and footmuff to keep baby dry and warm. Head to my full review to see more! 

This post has been written as part of my sponsored partnership with Graco

1 comment

  1. I loved this so much! I suffer with ME and feel exhausted a lot of the time while looking after my son; I'm so proud of myself after reading this :D such great advice too! xx

    elizabeth ♡ ”Ice Cream” whispers Clara
    (I would love to follow each other on bloglovin if you like! :D)


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