Housework and waistlines

Hey ladies, wanna lose a few pounds? Just grab the vacuum and get to work.

A new study found that one reason American women are overweight may be because we are doing less housework.

As you can imagine, the study has created quite a stir.

Researchers collected data from “time-use diaries” provided by thousands of women beginning in 1965.

They found women once had been quite physically active around the house, spending an average of 25.7 hours a week cleaning, cooking and doing laundry in 1965, according to a New York Times story.

By 2010, the time-use diaries showed women were spending far less time on housework, an average of only 13.3 hours per week.

Conversely, during that time the amount of screen time increased. In 1965, women typically spent about eight hours a week sitting and watching TV. By 2010, screen time was up to 16.5 hours per week.

“In essence, women had exchanged time spent in active pursuits, like vacuuming, for time spent being sedentary,” according to the Times.

That also meant the number of calories typically expended in a day declined.

According to the researchers, American women not employed outside the home were burning about 360 fewer calories each day in 2012 than they had in 1965.

Calories expended by working women also declined. In 2010, working women burned about 130 fewer calories a day than they did in 1965.

According to one researcher, the study suggests we need to start finding ways to incorporate movement back into the hours spent at home. What it does not suggest, he said, is that women (or men) should be doing more housework, according to the Times.

“For one thing, the effort involved in such activities today is less than it once was. Using modern, gliding vacuum cleaners is less taxing than struggling with the clunky, heavy machines once available,” according to the Times.

Still, readers have criticized the study, calling it sexist.

I would just like to point out how the study was funded: by a grant from Coca Cola.

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