Forget Claiming Housework as Exercise

So they were lying to us all along.  Remember all those articles that said housework was good exercise?  You know, shoving that vacuum around, leaning over to pick up socks and underwear (your husband's and son's, of course) off the floor, folding the clothes from the dryer.  Well, turns out we got pranked.

According to sciencedaily.com, it was all hogwash.  Citing a University of Ulster study, the article says,"people who included housework as part of their weekly exercise tended to be heavier."

The article quotes Prof. Marie Murphy, who led the study, as saying, ""Housework is physical activity and any physical activity should theoretically increase the amount of calories expended. But we found that housework was inversely related to leanness which suggests that either people are overestimating the amount of moderate intensity physical activity they do through housework, or are eating too much to compensate for the amount of activity undertaken."

Not too surprisingly, the study found that women and older people in the study tended to include higher levels of housework. "For women, exclusion of housework from the list of activities meant that only 20% met current activity recommendations. Prof. Murphy tells sciencedaily.com. "When talking to people about the amount of physical activity they need to stay healthy, it needs to be made clear that housework may not be intense enough to contribute to the weekly target and that other more intense activities also need to be included each week."

On a different note, another article at the Web site reports that "Post-menopausal women who engage in moderate to vigorous exercise have a reduced risk of breast cancer." While this has been known for some time, sciencedaily.com points out that the study is the first of its kind to "look at the importance of various intensities of exercise at different stages in an individual's life."

The study showed that postmenopausal women who rated their levels of activity at different ages "found, over 6.6 years of follow up, that women who engaged in more than 7 hours per week of moderate-to-vigorous exercise for the last ten years were 16% less likely to develop breast cancer than those who were inactive. "

This did not hold true for women who exercised vigorously when younger, however.

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