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Life in Brief — week of Oct. 20

Women still handle more work at home

Despite strides toward gender equality, women still shoulder more work at home and feel more fatigued by their daily grind, a new analysis from the Pew Research Center shows.

The new study is based on data from the American Time Use Survey, sponsored by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Dads devote much more time to caring for children and keeping up the house than they used to, but they still lag far behind moms, who spend almost twice as many hours on those tasks weekly, Pew found. Fathers still spend more time working for pay, on average, than mothers do.

Pew also found that when dads pitch in at home, they don’t always do the same work that moms do. On average, moms spent much more time cooking and cleaning, while dads chipped in a few more hours doing household repairs and maintenance, such as mowing the lawn.

In addition, “dads spend almost the same amount of time as mom in terms of playing with kids, but they do less in other areas of child care,” said Wendy Wang, a research associate at the Pew Research Center.

Mothers logged much more time doing “physical care,” such as changing diapers or tending to sick kids. That could be why dads find child care less tiring than moms do: Fifteen percent of mothers said they felt “very tired” doing child care, compared with 6 percent of fathers, the survey showed.

Despite their exhaustion, moms were more likely than dads to say they felt happy while caring for their kids. Both moms and dads said child care was much more meaningful for them than other work, with 62 percent of parents calling child care “very meaningful,” versus 36 percent who said the same about paid work.

— Emily Alpert

Los Angeles Times

Hints from Heloise:

Clipboards lifesaver for family with teens

Jessica in Ohio writes: With three teenagers, all involved in different activities, it’s hard to keep communication fluid. My oldest daughter and I dedicated a wall space in the entryway of our house for better communication.

We got a clipboard for each person, decorated them and mounted them on the wall where they couldn’t be missed. Now we use the boards for to-do lists, notes, appointments and shopping lists. It’s been a lifesaver for us!

— King Features

Exercise can beat drugs in recovery

Exercise might work just as well or better than drugs for people with coronary heart disease or recovering from a stroke, according to a review of evidence published recently.

The scientists looked at the outcomes of 305 previous trials with 339,274 participants to try to determine whether physical activity was as effective as drugs at preventing death among people with four conditions: coronary heart disease, rehabilitation from stroke, treatment for heart failure and prevention of diabetes.

There was no difference between exercise and drug interventions for the people with coronary heart disease and for the prevention of diabetes. Exercise was more effective than drugs for recovery from stroke. And drugs, specifically diuretics, were more effective for treatment of heart failure.

Exercise should be considered as “viable alternative to, or alongside, drug therapy,” the researchers said.

— Mary MacVean

Los Angeles Times


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