An Argument for Housework

Just 20 minutes a week gives you a mental boost.

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On Monday, I blogged about the disparity between men and women when it comes to doing housework and got a slew of comments complaining about the study's presumptions that women have it harder than men. Many of you wanted to see a study comparing the number of hours men and women spend at the office, while others pointed out that women may dust and mop more than men because they care more about having a clean house.

All valid points, but a new study from the British Journal of Sports Medicine may encourage both sexes to pick up a broom and start sweeping. Getting just 20 minutes of physical activity a week, including gardening and housework, can improve your mental health by lowering levels of stress and anxiety, according to a Scottish survey of nearly 20,000 men and women. Those who got daily physical activity, though, had the biggest mood boost. So perhaps we should all spend more time cleaning on those days when we can't get to the gym instead of worrying about who handles the lion's share of the housework.