Here's a dust bunny downer: A new study shows that when people substitute cleaning their house for going to the gym, they weigh more than those who hit the health club, reported the Huffington Post on October 17.
Think that if you spend a lot more time vacuuming that carpet and mopping that floor, you'll burn a lot more calories? Nope. In fact, researchers discovered that the more time people devoted to using housework for exercise, the more they weighed.
Admitting that the research results seem contradictory, the scientists who conducted the study theorize that housework-happy exercisers are overestimating how many calories they really burn. They then reward themselves for all that work by eating fattening foods.
Bottom line: Housework "may not be sufficient to provide all of the benefits normally associated with meeting the physical-activity guidelines," the researchers wrote in the Oct. 18 issue of the journal BMC Public Health.
Need another excuse to abandon the mop and broom and head for the gym? A related study showed that women bear the brunt of household cleaning chores, and the extra work is boosting their stress level, according to a recent report in Live Science.
The stress is worse for women who are in a relationship where their salary is not equal to their partners.
"In this study, women were in the majority (85 percent) in the combination of having more than half of the responsibility for domestic work and an equal socioeconomic position to the partner," the researchers reported in the journal PLoS ONE.