Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Is parenthood bad for your health?

New study suggests that children's needs cut down on adult workout time.
A first-of-its-kind study released in May by the University of Pittsburgh concluded that parenthood demonstrably reduces physical activity, while marriage has only a negligible effect.
. . .
More than 500 participants were tracked for two years as part of a 17-year study called the University of Pittsburgh Physical Activity Study.

Those who remained childless lost only a half-hour of physical activity per week, while those who had children lost about 3½ hours.

Men, in particular, were affected.

Women, who exercised an average of four hours before children, lost about 90 minutes a week once they became mothers. New fathers, who used to log just under eight hours of activity weekly, cut back a whopping 4½ hours.

Only parents of newborns and toddlers took part, so the researchers don't have data to suggest the same would be true of parents of teenagers. But the study's results can help prospective parents beware of pitfalls, said Ethan Hull, lead researcher.
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