Being a housewife is harmful to physical and mental health, Demography reported referring to a new study.
Among middle-aged women who were constantly engaged in paid work, the state of physical and mental health in old age is much better than women who did not work. Working women, as it turned out, live longer.
To come to such conclusions, scientists from the The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research analyzed data from a major national study conducted in the US. A survey of 5083 women aged 30 to 44 years began in 1967 and was carried out until 2003, when women turned 66-80 years old.
It turned out that women who had regular paid work during the first 20 years of the study were less likely to experience physical limitations and symptoms of depression over the next 16 years than housewives. In addition, working women had a 25% lower risk of dying by 2012.
On the other hand, scientists noted that constant negative work experience could negatively affect women’s health. Thus, discrimination and lack of interest in work were associated with the worst state of physical and mental health as they age. However, even these women were healthier in old age than non-working women.