BABIES – Want to get fit? Become a parent…

  • Parents flex their biceps daily by carrying up to 17.5kg around with them each day, equivalent to a full suitcase, even though they function on less than six hours sleep
  • Parents manage, on average, to have a relaxing bath only once every eight months
  • Graco launches an ultra-light pushchair, the Featherweight, weighing in at just 3.6kg, a third of the average weight of a 0-3 year old  

Contrary to the myth that maternity and paternity leave is a restful break from the rat race, new research from Graco reveals how active new parents are compared to office workers who regularly exercise. According to the research new parents spend an average of nearly eight hours a day on their feet, with nearly a third (30%) spending more than 10 hours on their feet each day[1]. This is equivalent to walking nearly a whole marathon (20.5 miles) each week. In comparison, office workers who regularly hit the gym lead a much more sedentary lifestyle, spending an average of just five hours a day on their feet with nearly half of those polled (46%) spending less than four hours a day up and about.

There’s not much down time to be had with almost two fifths of new parents (39%) only finding time to relax and put their feet up once a week or less. Comparatively, office workers spend on average six hours each day sitting down. The research findings 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).

On a normal day, parents can carry up to 6kg so when this is combined with the additional weight of a baby, this tots 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. This compares to the average 41 minutes per session an office worker spends lifting weights.

As well as being active, it seems that the new morning alarm that babies provide for their parents on maternity or paternity leave are even harsher than the days of their work alarms, with parents reporting less sleep compared to work days. New parents report a mean total average of 6.3 hours per night, far below the recommended daily amount. In comparison, 60% of office workers enjoy more than six hours of slumber each night.

Parenting author and mum-of-two Tanith Carey, said: “I’m not surprised at all by the research findings. As a parent myself I know how busy and tiring life can be – I often find myself running around trying to complete chores that, with planning, could’ve taken less time than they did. Becoming a parent is one of the biggest life changes a person can experience. As well the physical demands, you have the added pressure of being responsible for a whole new person!”

Tanith Carey who is a parent and author of ‘Mum Hacks – Time-saving tips to calm the chaos of family life’, shared her top life hacks on how parents can make the most of their day and create a time effective and easy routine with their newest little bundle.

The top challenges new parents think they face on a day to day basis are:

  • Keeping up with chores (53.8%)
  • Getting enough sleep (52.2%)
  • Finding time to spend with my partner (38.4%)
  • Quality down time (31.1%)
  • Keeping a routine and eating good meals at normal times (26.5%)
  • Keeping a new baby happy (16.9%)
  • Getting out to do the shopping (15.3%)
  • Public transport with a pushchair (10.8%)


Tanith’s suggestions for parents looking to re-energise their daily routines:

On The Go

  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

Navigating Public Transport

  1. So you aren’t dealing with a fussy baby or impatient toddler at the bus stop, get an app on your phone so you know when your next bus is coming. Think about getting on at the less busy stops too, even if you have to walk a little bit further. It could you mean you get that sought-after pushchair space

At The Shops

  1. Before you head out shopping with your pushchair, make sure you don’t overload yourself by snapping a picture of the inside of your fridge on your phone so you have an instant visual reminder of what you do – and don’t need – to buy. This will save you time and money on unnecessary shopping!
  2. 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

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 rain cover and footmuff to keep baby dry and warm.