Men train on borrowed time from women: study

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According to a new study from the Australian National University (ANU) published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.

The study analyzed data from 7,000 households made up of heterosexual couples between the ages of 25 and 64, looking at how they share time.

Researchers found that a woman’s day was ‘not conducive’ to exercise, but men’s time was ‘elastic’, regardless of how long men and women worked.

“This is one of the first studies to show how, hour after hour, women’s time for health is squeezed to manage their work and family, while men’s time for work and health is more protected. “, author and ANU professor Lyndall Strazdins mentioned.

“We found that women’s working time is rigid – it has no concessions while men have elasticity in their days, even when working longer hours.

“This is a major issue for women’s health and fitness.

“Every hour a woman works takes away from her free time, but that doesn’t happen to her male counterparts. Men work long hours and seem to borrow time from their female partners to exercise.

“Even when a man in a relationship increases his working hours, he may save time for exercise, but when a woman works more, she gives up her time for exercise. This suggests that men borrow their time from the women in their lives.

Overall, 34% of paired men were physically active, meaning more than three moderate or vigorous physical activities for at least 30 minutes per week.

Women were less physically active than men, with only 28.6% of women in relationships finding time for the same amount of regular exercise.

Women’s physical activity decreased more when their family obligations or paid work hours increased and their work hours were also less flexible.

“Men having more time to exercise and more flexibility in their working hours trickle down to women’s bodies,” Professor Strazdins said.

“Women give their health and well-being to their male partners.”

The study found that if women increased their work time by 10 hours a week, or two hours a day, only 22.6% were likely to be physically active.

In contrast, when men increase their paid work time by 10 hours per week, the number of physically active men decreases by only 2%, to 32%.

The study also found that men are likely to increase their physical activity when their female partners’ work hours are more flexible.

ANU co-author Dr Tinh Doan said, “When men work long hours, it doesn’t seem to hamper their physical activity, nor does the hours worked by their female partners.”

Professor Strazdins said public health efforts to increase exercise must take into account the very different circumstances women face when it comes to work-life balance and take gender inequality much more seriously. sexes.

“There is currently a global exercise drought, and this is shifting huge burdens of disease from the cardiovascular system to the cognitive system. We need to limit working hours at work, and even shared care hours at home , so that men and women have enough time to stay healthy,” she said.


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More information:

Tinh Doan et al, Time for Physical Activity: Different, Unequal, Gendered, Journal of Health and Social Behavior (2022). DOI: 10.1177/00221465211028910

Provided by
Australian National University


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Men train on borrowed time from women: study (2022, May 6)
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