The Playbook For The Modern Man

The ‘Absurd’ Number Of Calories Deliveroo Couriers Burn In A Day

Putting F45 to shame…

Food delivery services have become ubiquitous around the world, and Australia is no exception. 2020 has further fuelled this trend, as not only has the demand for takeaway increased as restaurants have been forced to turn diners away while at the same time people are socially isolating at home, but the recession has meant many have lost their jobs and started couriering food in order to make ends meet.

While many food delivery riders use cars or motorbikes to deliver food, a huge proportion of couriers use the humble pushbike. It’s hard to miss them – Deliveroo cyclists in reflective jackets with big boxes on the back of their bikes are commonplace in cities across the country. Some people consider them a nuisance, but at a time when many gyms are still closed (or harder to find a slot at) and we’re all feeling a bit stir-crazy, becoming a Deliveroo bike courier could be an unexpected health tip.

British sport science and fitness expert Jane Wake relates how becoming a bike courier could be a great way to get or stay fit.

“Becoming a Deliveroo rider requires a certain level of fitness but it’s almost guaranteed to get you into better shape – even on a part-time basis. For Deliveroo cyclists there’s an obvious cardio workout… all riders improve their balance and both core and leg strength too. Carrying orders from door to door whilst negotiating steps and staircases will improve agility, speed, upper and lower body strength. Biggest of all is the incentive to move fast.”

“The right motivation is a wonderful thing when it comes to fitness and we now know that activity that’s built into your lifestyle can be far more effective for long term fitness, health and weight loss.”


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Additionally, Wake reviewed the average daily activity of many common professions in order to find what burns the most calories and found that being a bike courier is perhaps one of the most exercise-heavy jobs one can do. Her approximate figures based on a 70kg person reveal some incredible statistics:

  1. Food delivery rider (cyclist) = 1,080 calories per hour (on average)
  2. Firefighter = 845 calories per hour
  3. PE teacher = 282 calories per hour
  4. Masseur/masseuse = 280 calories per hour
  5. Electrician or plumber = 247 calories per hour

According to industry blog Deliveroo Rider, most riders work for six hours per day on average – three hours around the ‘lunch rush’ and three hours in the evening. All up, that would mean you’d be burning 6480 calories a day – or more than five Double Quarter Pounder meals from McDonalds (if you use the Australian nutrition information).

For comparison, F45 claim that their ’22’ circuit, their most infamous and intense cardiovascular workout, can burn up to 1,000 calories. If you’re going all-out during an hour-long spin class, you could burn around 550 calories, according to Popsugar. While Deliveroo cyclists are also carrying heavy packages of food and drinks, and might also be going up and down flights of stairs to deliver orders, it’s worth taking Deliveroo’s results with a grain of salt.

Raw figures aside, it’s a great way to keep fit whilst making some money at the same time, says Juan, a Deliveroo rider since November 2016.

“Working as a Deliveroo rider really helps me work towards my fitness goals. It’s great because I can make deliveries to earn a little extra pocket money whilst I study, but it also means I don’t have to find the time to work out on those days.”

“It can make the job more fun if I try and complete the delivery as quickly as I can and this also helps raise my heart rate a little. I’d say a few hours of making deliveries is equivalent to an hour in the gym for me.”

So while you might not become as buff as Sergio Ramos by simply delivering butter chickens every evening, it could be a great way to maintain your fitness and make a little cash on the side in the process.

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