Journal of Physical Activity Research
ISSN (Print): 2574-4437 ISSN (Online): 2574-4437 Website: http://www.sciepub.com/journal/jpar Editor-in-chief: Peter Hart
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Journal of Physical Activity Research. 2019, 4(2), 97-102
DOI: 10.12691/jpar-4-2-3
Open AccessArticle

The Role of Housework in Married Women’s Physical Activity: 1936 to 2017

Cathleen D. Zick1,

1Department of Family and Consumer Studies, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, United States of America

Pub. Date: June 15, 2019

Cite this paper:
Cathleen D. Zick. The Role of Housework in Married Women’s Physical Activity: 1936 to 2017. Journal of Physical Activity Research. 2019; 4(2):97-102. doi: 10.12691/jpar-4-2-3

Abstract

The historical decline in adults’ physical activity (PA) has been attributed to the growth in both sedentary occupations and car-dependent transportation. Missing from the conversation has been any examination of what role shifts in housework time/composition may have played. Historical time-use data for married women in the United States from 1936 to 2017 are used to assess trends in women’s moderate physical activity (PA) housework as measured by the typical metabolic equivalents (METs) for various core housework tasks. Analyses reveal that for much of the 20th century, the typical married woman likely met the Centers for Disease Control's PA recommendations through daily housework. However, time spent in moderate PA housework has declined at a faster pace than total housework time for the past 30 years. The downward trend appears to be driven primarily by changes other than household socio-demographics. Shifts in housework, both in terms of the composition and the overall time spent doing housework, have likely played an important role in the historical decline of adult women’s physical activity and rising obesity risk.

Keywords:
women and housework moderate physical activity historical trends

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