Thursday, May 21, 2009
The Housework Blues
Housework getting you down? It’s no surprise.
"There is a strong positive correlation that exists between housework and depression," writes my friend Andrea, who majored in Psych in college. In other words, the more housework you do, the more bummed out you get.
"Housework can cause distress because it offers less recognition, less likelihood of being thanked and lower levels of work fulfillment than paid work," concluded the Brown University sociologist who conducted the study.
The study also reminded me why I'm so lucky to have found a guy who helps out around the house. The researcher found that married women performed 14 hours more housework each week than their single counterparts. By comparison, married men performed only 90 minutes more. Now that's a reason to stay single, gals!
Other research showed that regardless of how much work your spouse does, as the hours of housework goes up, the depression increases. "So if you think about it, Andrea wrote, "it's in your best interests to avoid housework as much as possible. Think of your mental health!" Good point.
Of course, as with any research, you can usually find another study that contradicts the findings.
Still, it makes sense to me that doing an unequal amount of housework would lead to resentment, anger and depression. But taking care of household responsibilities and feeling good about your home might help boost your mood. So both studies are right (how's that for simplifying complex research data?).
On the upside, housework helps burn calories. More on the "housework workout" tomorrow.