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Scientists Say Household Chores Help You Live Longer
Even if you hate chores, you might want to read this article.
Ryan Aliapoulios
06.27.19

Let’s face it: nobody particularly likes doing chores.

Between having to work a job, maintain a relationship and take care of a family, the last thing anybody wants to do when they get home is to sweep or vacuum.

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For other people, the things they hate are folding clothes, mopping, doing dishes or whatever else that might need to get done. Still, aside from helping you be responsible and stay on top of your life, doing chores may have some other benefits as well.

At least, that’s what a recent study has shown.

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The study appeared in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

It was published in November of 2017 and had a very specific aim. Though the research was not specifically aimed at studying the health effects of doing chores, it was looking the various general connections between physical activity and mortality in older women between the ages of 63 to 99. More specifically, the study paid close attention to lighter physical activities and measured everything with an accelerometer.

All told, the study worked with more than 6,000 participants and measured their health outcomes for about three years.

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After the data was collected, it was statistically controlled for many other variables as well.

To make sure there were no interfering variables, the data was adjusted for wear time, age, education, smoking, alcohol use, comorbidities and other factors. At the end of everything, they found that light intensity exercise routines were associated with lower mortality rates in older women.

More generally, the study also suggested that encouraging older women to do that kind of light exercise.

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The correlation between women who did light exercise and those who had lower mortality rates was significant.

As it turns out, the subjects who spent about 30 minutes a day on light exercise had a 12% lower risk of death in the same time frame as those who didn’t. On the other hand, those who did more moderate activity had their mortality rate lowered as much as 39% compared to those who didn’t. As these results show, doing some light exercise is definitely worth doing rather than doing nothing.

And one great way to do this is through various light household chores!

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To be fair, this study was specifically done for elderly women and their mortality rates… but the core idea makes sense regardless.

How often have you heard a doctor or another medical professional say that exercise is good for you? Although we all hear that, we don’t always know what that means specifically. On the one hand, we often have the advice that doing lots of intense exercise is the best way to live. Although in one sense strenuous exercise is important, this study points to a potentially more important finding.

The idea is that some exercise, no matter how little, is significantly better than none.

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In a modern world where we’re prone to become less and less physically active, stories like this one are good news.

To be fair, the fine print about the chores is not necessarily the point of the study (though it definitely fits in with light physical activity). The real point is that exercise is important when it comes to maintaining a long life, even after controlling for all kinds of other variables. While this study focused on elderly women, it stands to reason that a very similar thing is happening with older men as well… and potentially with younger men and women also.

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The main takeaway? Don’t skimp on your exercise, even if it’s just sweeping the house!

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By Ryan Aliapoulios
hi@sbly.com
Ryan Aliapoulios is a contributing writer at Shareably based out of Los Angeles. Find him on Twitter @rollyops.
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