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The Boston Globe

Health & wellness

Daily Dose

Prevent weight gain by doing more housework

While fast food and sugary soda consumption have been blamed for the obesity epidemic, other factors might have played even more of a role — like the fact that women sit in front of electronic screens more than they used to, often behind a desk at work, and do a lot less dusting, ironing, and scrubbing of pots.

A recent study — bound to generate a bit of controversy — found that women now spend about 13 hours per week doing housework, about half as much time as they did in 1965. The researchers calculated that the decline in housework has led to fewer calories burned: a difference of 2,518 calories per week or 360 calories a day.

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That’s equivalent to about 30 minutes of running or an hourlong low-impact aerobics class — and you’d have to do it seven days a week.

Solution? Get up and move around your house a bit more. Do some spring cleaning or tackle those old files in your home office.

You can also walk to the grocery store, buying only as much as you can carry home. If you don’t live within walking distance, park a few blocks away. D.K.

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