February 28, 2013

NEW YORK TIMES: American Women Are Fat Because They Don’t Vacuum Enough. “Women, they found, once had been quite physically active around the house, spending, in 1965, an average of 25.7 hours a week cleaning, cooking and doing laundry. Those activities, whatever their social freight, required the expenditure of considerable energy. . . . Forty-five years later, in 2010, things had changed dramatically. By then, the time-use diaries showed, women were spending an average of 13.3 hours per week on housework. More striking, the diary entries showed, women at home were now spending far more hours sitting in front of a screen. In 1965, women typically had spent about eight hours a week sitting and watching television. (Home computers weren’t invented yet.) By 2010, those hours had more than doubled, to 16.5 hours per week. In essence, women had exchanged time spent in active pursuits, like vacuuming, for time spent being sedentary.”

This’ll be well-received. But hey, it’s science. You can’t argue with science.

UPDATE: Reader Tim Johnson: “What’s happened to the divorce rate over this period of time?” You can probably blame increased TV-watching for that, too.