As I have mentioned too many times to count, being busy working my waitressing job has really diminished my time for running; however, I have actually lost weight since starting that job and have probably ended up burning more calories working a shift there than I would have running. According to most calories burned charts, waitressing burns about 200 calories an hour. I believe it. When it's busy, I bet I burn even more. For one thing, serving tables requires a lot of walking -- back and forth, back and forth -- sometimes across sizable distances. When I worked as a server in Minnesota, I once wore a pedometer during a typical four hour shift, and I discovered that I walked about five miles (and this was a much smaller restaurant than the one I currently work at).
But walking isn't the only exercise. A server lifts and carries trays that weigh 20+ pounds, and we carry smaller trays of drinks, and we carry those heavy plates (often stacked one on top of the other at the end of a guest's meal). Considering that my shifts minimally last five hours, each time I work, I burn about 1,000 calories, so it only takes a couple days of work to burn up a pound (no wonder so many restaurant employees eat and drink with abandon; they know they'll burn the calories off).
All of this work is why I sweat so much during a shift (that, and the heat of going back and forth through the kitchen -- I don't know how those cooks stand it), so it's always a little humorous to me when a customer tells me they are freezing because the air conditioning is blowing on them; I'm standing next to them with a slow roll of sweat running down my back.
In the end, I don't want waitressing to substitute for my established exercise, but at the same time, it's good to know that the work I'm doing is at least helping to make up for that. Today (Easter), I work a double, so I can look forward to a long day ahead of me, and many calories burned.
Have a good holiday everyone -- enjoy your ham!