Step Away from the Remote Control!
This week, I’ve been talking about a new study that found that women today are spending far less time doing housework than their counterparts did in the mid-1960s. Women who don’t work outside the home are burning about 360 fewer calories per day, while even working women, such as myself, are burning about 132 fewer calories in the home each day. Meanwhile, sugar consumption, driven in large part by the consumption of sugary soft drinks, has increased dramatically. Can it be a coincidence that the incidence of type 2 diabetes and obesity have also increased dramatically over the same period? I don’t think so.
No one loves housework, but from now on I’m likely to view it in a new light. Much like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or parking at the back of the lot instead of near the entrance, housework represents another handy opportunity to fit in some healthy physical activity each day. Sitting is essentially toxic, and we’re paying the price for all this inactivity with declining health, rising body weight, and decreased fitness. So the next time you reach for the TV remote control, consider whether you could be pushing around the vacuum cleaner instead. It will help you burn calories. And you may chase some dust bunnies away!
Archer E, Shook RP, Thomas DM, Church TS, Katzmarzyk PT, Hébert JR, et al. 45-Year Trends in Women's Use of Time and Household Management Energy Expenditure. PLoS One. 2013;8(2):e56620. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0056620. Epub 2013 Feb 20.