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Equal Sharing of Housework for the Elderly: Key to Better Health

According to a new study published in BMC Health, elderly men in the US and Europe are performing less housework compared with elderly women. This then leads to less chances of becoming physically active and health concerns.

Conducted by researchers from the Leibniz Institute for Preventive Research and Epidemiology in Germany, the said research utilized self-reported data from 20,907 women and 15,333 men aged 65 and up from Italy, Spain, Germany, France, Netherlands, UK, and US to investigate on the possible relationship between health and the time spent sleeping and doing housework.

By reporting the time they spent on different activities (related to cooking, childcare, gardening and maintenance, and cleaning and shopping) and sleeping, as well as their overall health condition, the research participants were able to provide the researchers with information to study.

Results showed that elderly women allotted more time doing housework, five hours a day on the average. On the other hand, elderly men were found to work on household chores for only three hours.

The researchers likewise reported that those who indicated working in their houses for three to six hours a day ended up being healthier versus those who worked for only one to three hours.

However, those who did long housework hours but slept too much (more than eight hours) or too little (less than seven) had poorer health.

Moreover, it was noted by the researchers that elderly women in Germany and Italy did housework longer (about five hours per day), while those in the US did the least (around four hours a day).

German elderly men, on the other hand, spent the most time doing housework (4.2 hours a day) while Italians spent the least (2.7 hours a day).

These results pose significant insights for home care services provider, elderly and their loved ones. As these activities were found to have an impact on health, caregivers would be able to recommend certain routines to seniors to strengthen their health.


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