In a new experiment, V8 Juice and Kalyn Ponga prove Aussie parents work harder in a day than a professional rugby league athlete does during a match.

V8, in an effort to prove that Aussie parents have one of the most physically demanding jobs there is, has conducted a revealing experiment with NRL superstar, Kalyn Ponga of the Newcastle Knights.

The Stay at Home Athlete challenge saw parents Damien and Tia Rea leave their four children, all aged under 12, and their dog, Ruby, in the care of the 20-year-old professional athlete. A camera crew and accredited sports dietitian monitored him during the full day of parental duties.

“At first, I thought looking after children for a day would be a walk in the park – but I was so wrong!”, said Ponga.

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During the experiment, the standout full-back, who many commentators herald as a future NRL immortal, wore a calorie and step tracking device to monitor his energy expenditure as he went about everyday parenting duties over a 10-hour period.

The tasks included: making breakfast, pouring V8 juice, taking the kids to the playground, mowing, cleaning, grocery shopping, changing nappies and fixing dinner.


The experiment, which was measured by accredited sports dietician, Rebecca Hay, was conducted by V8 to highlight how demanding adult lives can be and the need to top up their vegetable intake to help meet their daily requirements.

“Over the course of the day, Kalyn burnt 1988 calories – that’s over 1300 calories more than he would usually burn in an 80-minute professional rugby league game, which we calculated at around 680 calories,” said Hay.

“The V8 Stay at Home Athlete experiment shows how everyday parenting tasks are more physically and mentally demanding than many would expect, and highlights the importance of parents staying on top of their game by including vegetables in their diet,” said Hay.

footy mf

Kalyn Ponga, commenting after the experiment, said, “I didn’t expect the day to be as tiring as it was. It was an eye-opener to realise tasks like cleaning, taking the kids to the park and getting the groceries can be just as mentally and physically exhausting as a full footy game!

“The physical part, on top of the mental element of dealing with young, energetic kids has given me a whole new perspective on what it’s like to be a parent and made me really appreciate my own mum! Parents are ‘stay at home athletes’ and deserve so much respect.”

As part of the experiment, V8 also polled over 1,000 Australian parents and discovered that when it comes to estimating how difficult the challenge of being an everyday parent is, they sell themselves significantly short.

  • Around one in five Australians (18 per cent) think that a parent doing daily activities with kids burns more energy than a professional athlete during a rugby league match
  • When it comes to everyday activities, the findings also revealed 57 per cent of Aussie parents deemed cleaning as the household activity perceived to be the most tiring, followed by gardening (44 per cent) and grocery shopping (23 per cent)

Share your comments below

  • Parenting is so much mentally demanding than any other job I’ve had. It never stops. Even when they’re asleep, as a parent you’ll stay awake and plan how to have the best for them. It’s physically demanding too, some days I don’t even get to eat or sit down because I’m so focused on keeping up with my two and the home.


  • Parenting doesnt stop


  • I would definitely have thought parenting was more physically demanding being a professional athlete it goes all day and sometimes most of the night.


  • Parenting is hard and worthwhile work – always has been and always will be.


  • He also forgot getting kids ready for school ,school pick ups and drop offs,dinners paying bills,and many more


  • He forgot the washing and ironing!


  • Good to have it recognized that parenting can be physically and mentally tiring.


  • I wish my husband would understand this!


  • How many males fit in doing the mowing as well as doing other things on the list? He did a fairly good job of household chores. It sounds as though he did the grocery shopping too. Not something Mums should need to do everyday


  • And this doesn’t account for the mental fatigue!

    • A good point – there are many layers to be a parent.


  • Being a parent never stops so this doesn’t surprise me!


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