The Cleaning Conundrum

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How women currently spend their time may provide some clues to our growing obesity epidemic. According to a recently released study, it seems that these days, we’re sitting down on the job.

The American Heritage Time Use Studies documented how women spent their time at home. Chronicling both working and non-working woman from 1965-2010, the diaries showed remarkable differences in their activity levels as the years went by.

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In the earlier diaries, women spent an average of over 26.7 hours per week doing domestic chores, such as cooking, cleaning and laundry. This number of hours were reduced radically by 2010, when women reported doing an average of 13.3 hours of housework per week.

While some of the decrease is attributed to more women working outside the home than they did 48 years ago, the invention of the computer seems to be a large factor as well. Women are spending more than 16.5 hours of leisure time in front of a screen of some kind vs. only 8 hours in 1965.

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What does all this mean? The study suggests that the average woman is burning 360 calories less per day, than her predecessors.

Here’s the lowdown on what a woman might burn doing 30 minutes of housework:

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  • Scrubbing bathroom or floors (on hands and knees): 200 calories
  • Vacuuming: 90 calories
  • Dusting: 50 calories
  • Washing dishes: 160 calories
  • Making the beds: 130 calories 68
  • Ironing: 70 calories
  • Doing laundry: 100 calories
  • Cooking: 75 calories

It’s time to get moving ladies. Your homes and your bodies will thank you for it.

Vintage Photos: Glasshouse Images

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