Retired women apparently spend more time doing housework than men, and huh, you don’t say!

A new study from researchers at the Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology discovered that retired women in the U.S. and Europe spend more time doing housework than their male counterparts. Huh. No kidding. The study found that on average, elderly women spend about five hours a day doing housework whereas elderly men clock in at around three hours of housework. Wow — we are really, truly shocked.

But the joke is on retired men because the hardworking women reportedly feel a lot healthier thanks to their active lifestyle. Nicholas Adjei, the author of the study, which was published in the journal BMC Public Health, stated, “Engaging in a few hours of housework may be beneficial to the health of older adults.”

Adjei noted that the number of adults aged 65+ is increasing on a global scale due to higher life expectancy. Doing daily tasks around the house can help keep that number on the rise. But Adjei said that sleep is also a huge part of the health equation. He continued,

“Long periods of housework combined with too much or too little sleep — that is fewer than seven or more than eight hours of sleep, respectively — was associated with poor health among elderly women.”

The study also found interesting differences in the types of household chores older men and women partake in on a daily basis. For example, in all countries studied — France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, the U.K. and U.S. — men spent less time cleaning, cooking, and shopping than women did.

And women spent less time gardening and doing maintenance tasks than men.

Nationality also affected the results. Elderly women in Germany and Italy spend about five hours doing daily housework. But their cohorts in the U.S. only spend about four hours a day on household chores.

Researchers concluded that the “findings suggest that housework activities remain strongly gendered even after retirement.” Go figure!

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