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.


Bernie Bernstein said...

From Mom...Sean, go for the T-shirt
If you get one, get one for me also (size large would do for the gym). After 48 years of doing housework, and 12 at the gym, I still need a large. Guess house-work doesn't burn that many calories...neither does the gym. So much for statistics.

jcm2219 said...

Do you think Avo is building up depression, anger, and resentment given that he does more housework than you do? Different topic: I would suggest that the post-nuptial increase in housework hours is more linked to whether one has children rather than to whether one is simply married. Hi Mr. and Ms. Bernstein!

Undomesticated Me said...

I sure hope he isn't building up depression, anger and depression? If he is, he must be channeling into his cooking and cleaning.