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New study reveals hidden benefits of home cooking

29th April 2009 Print
On average we cover an impressive 78 miles in the kitchen annually - just from preparing and cooking our meals, according to the findings of a new study released this week by New World home appliances. That’s the equivalent of three marathons every year.

And with the recession driving 57 per cent of Brits to cancel their health club membership and eat out less this year (53 per cent), could the kitchen become the new gym?

New World’s research into the cooking habits of 1,000 adults reveals that, with the majority of the population (36%) spending up to 45 minutes preparing home-cooked evening meals up to six days a week, this shift towards a more ‘back to basics’ way of life can bring with it some surprising health benefits.

While the credit crunch means many people will have to ditch the treadmill at the gym this year, diet and exercise still remains important for three quarters of respondents. Plus nearly 80 per cent of those questioned would spend more time cooking up a storm in the kitchen if it led to fab abs and leaner limbs.

Leading nutritionist, Susie Perry, has been recruited by New World to provide diet and fitness advice to help people get the best out of their ‘kitchen workout.’ She said: “These findings may be surprising to many but the reality is, on average, we spend at least half an hour preparing and cooking an evening meal every day. This is all time spent active and on the move, which results in calorie burning benefits.

“Recipes which require a bit more effort can really help you shape up, especially if you dump the snazzy kitchen gadgets and do it all by hand. Waiting for your meal to cook is no excuse to hit the sofa either. Instead you could use the time to tone up with squats or tummy clenches, or even work those arms using tins of beans as dumbbells!”

Susie has also worked with New World to devise some healthy alternatives to the nation’s top five favourite meals which, according to the survey, are:

Curry (44%)
Fish and chips (49%)
Roast dinner (53%)
Spaghetti bolognaise (72%)
Stew (47%)

Available do download free of charge from - the recipes show people how to make simple changes to their much loved meals to help save even more calories. The website also provides tips on the best meals for calorie burning during preparation.

Kate Waller, Product Manager at New World, added: “Managing finances is clearly a priority for many people this year and luxuries like going to the gym and eating out are the first things to be cut back. Our study shows that people don’t have to spend a lot of money to stay healthy. This is why we wanted to highlight the benefits of home cooking and provide simple tips to help people get a good workout while whipping up a tasty Sunday roast.”

Visit for more healthy recipes, exercises and hints on burning calories in the kitchen.

* The nationwide research saw a cross-section of participants measure the distance and calories covered in the kitchen using a pedometer whilst preparing and cooking their meals for one week. The results were then used to find an average reading.

** Survey was carried out by Your Say Pays on behalf of New World in February 2009.