Doing Light Household Chores Lowers Mortality Rate by 12%
등록일 2019년 01월 07일 월요일
수정일 2017년 11월 20일 월요일

Photo By michaeljung via Shutterstock

Not everyone likes to do household chores such as cleaning the house, washing the dishes, and folding the laundry.This is why among families who can afford, they either outsource the job or hire a domestic helper to do those chores, while the wife pursues a career instead.

However, not all women are given that choice.Some, by default, become housewives who are tasked with running the home while the husband works and supports the family.The women may complain that the daily chores leave her no time for herself, including exercise.

Longer, healthier lives

But they may not be aware that engaging in household chores could actually prolong their lives.It was particularly advised to senior women by a new study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

For the research conducted by scientists at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, over 6,300 women aged between 63 and 99 years old were recruited by the team led by Andrea LaCroix, a professor at the University's Department of Family Medicine and Public Health.They followed the elderly women for 4.5 years, Medical News Today reported.

The team provided the women with hip accelerometers to continuously monitor their physical activity for seven days while they did their daily chores.The research found that light physical activity among older women provided them health benefits even if the activity was below the guideline recommendations, LaCroix said.

CDC recommendation

According to findings, for every half hour of light physical work daily that the respondents did, their risk of mortality went down by 12 percent.If it was a moderate physical activity they engaged in, the decline in mortality rate was by a higher 39 percent.The benefits applied to the senior women whatever their ethnic backgrounds, weight, or age were.

The recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is for older adults to engage in at least 2.5 hours of moderate physical activity every week or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity weekly.However, the new study pointed out that the improving levels of physical activity, both light and moderate, could be almost as effective as rigorous regular exercise in the prevention of a major chronic disease.

LaCroix noted that to stay healthy, people do not need to run marathons.She said there is a need to shift paradigms when people think of being active because every movement counts.

Source of exercise

It is activities like household chores that account for more than 55 percent of how older women get their daily activity, India Today reported.LaCroix explained that older people expend more energy doing the same kind of tasks they did when they were younger.

Michael LaMonte, the lead author of the study, said the research findings are remarkable because in current public health guidelines by the CDC, the physical activity should be at least moderate or higher intensity for people to get health benefits, Free Malaysia Today reported.

By 2050, the number of people in the US aged 65 and above is projected to have doubled since 2000 and reach almost 77 million.In this age group, women are expected to outnumber men two to one, he added.

Large swath of women

LaMonte said that the results of their study suggested that lighter activity could reach a large swath of women in a graying society. "Doing something is better than nothing, even when at lower-than-guideline-recommended levels of physical activity," he said.

While the study was aimed at senior women, the team said the results can still send the vital message to younger women and men that setting healthy habits and being physically active while they are young can help maintain these habits and good health as they grow older.

Proxy son

Although many older women in India do a lot of the household chores, they would still appreciate receiving a hand from younger family members.Unfortunately, with the rise of the nuclear family, many elder Indians are left with no choice but to do every household chore.

A startup, however, saw an opportunity in this situation and offered a service by sending young men to help them.Called proxy sons, the men can purchase the groceries, bring them to the doctor, stay with seniors in the hospital, help get the electricity and plumbing work done, bring the seniors to the movies, plan a meal outing, and just stay with them at home, Bangalore Mirror reported.

The opportunities for businesses like the proxy sons are big because Indians who will be 60 years old and above by 2025 will comprise 11.1 percent of the country's population from the 7.5 percent share in 2010.  The 91.6 million seniors in the Asian giant is expected to hit 158.7 million in 2025, further expanding the market for services provided by proxy sons.

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