Thursday, 12 March 2009

Offset the effects of your strained marriage with power-walking and celery

As those of us working within feminist economics have been saying for some time now, the economic work of reproducing and sustaining the population from within the domestic economy is not an inelastic, constantly renewable input. That is to say, women, who are in general tasked more than men with unpaid care work* in the home, cannot, unsupported, continue performing this work indefinitely and not have it adversely affect their health and well-being. And such negative effects mean that women's unpaid work will not necessarily be there no matter what, as policymakers often take for granted.

Add to this a strained marital relationship, and the prognosis looks even worse. That is, at least, according to a study presented to the American Psychosomatic Society, which finds that
Women are more likely than men to suffer damage to their health from being in a strained marriage.

US psychologists found wives in tense marriages were prone to risk factors for heart disease, stroke and diabetes. In comparison, husbands seemed relatively immune from such problems.
The factors the study sought to assess were those related to metabolic syndrome, a cluster of related risk factors for heart disease, diabetes and other health issues.

But the researchers are of course not suggesting that those in poorly functioning marriages seek to lower these risk factors by working on their marriages or dumping their husbands. Because that would be absurd! Their suggested fix? It will look familiar: diet and exercise.
Professor Tim Smith, who co-led the research, said there was good evidence that a healthy diet and regular exercise could reduce a woman's risk of metabolic syndrome.

However, he said: "It's a little premature to say they would lower their risk of heart disease if they improved the tone and quality of their marriages - or dumped their husbands.

So, following their interpretation of the findings, if your bad marriage is killing you, trying to fix it or getting the hell out is not necessarily as indicated as say, going for a run and eating a salad. Treat the symptoms and not the cause, people. You heard it here first.

* "I'm not reading all that crap". Of course you're not. Just scroll down to the graphic on Page 6 and you'll notice the 'depletion of human capabilities' from the domestic economy, i.e. the household.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Creative Commons License
This work is licenced under a Creative Commons Licence