You may already have read that according to a group of scientists who have recently produced a study for Cancer Research UK, housework is no longer merely a necessary and crushingly boring evil. No. These days it’s so healthy that doing some regularly “could reduce the risk of breast cancer by 13%.”
By virtue of being “between” projects right now and hanging round the love shack all day, waiting for my husband to give me pocket money pin money handouts, I’m kind of a housewife.
Not, like, a real one who views looking after the home as her equal contribution to the home, in exchange for her domestic partner’s financial support, you understand.
More like a married woman who hangs round the house all day eating biscuits, applying for jobs and, um, not even slightly contributing to its up-keep by cleaning.
Weirdly, in spite of his flaming lefty tendencies, the husbo hasn’t exactly warmed to the idea of keeping me in face creams and nail varnish to apply between job applications.
Whatevs, now there’s proof that the risk of breast cancer can be ever-so-slightly reduced by housework, I have science on my side when it comes to remaining medium to long term unemployed around the house for a bit longer (despite the fact that, to date, I've been totally ignoring cleaning element of housewifery).
The science-y bit, should you not have already read and dismantled the obviously oppressive nonsense that the Daily Mail managed to work into a ten word headline on Tuesday this week, is that being active “even in moderate amounts” can help reduce the risk of breast cancer.
The study did look at housework but only because of the activity levels necessitated by it. According to the statistics (which I also sourced from the always reliable Mail, because biscuit eating and nail varnish applying only leaves so much time for reading around a subject) only 29% of women and 39% of men manage to do the 150 hours a week- or 22 minutes a day- of exercise the government recommends.
It’s implicit that even if we’re not doing some form of “real”, gym bunny friendly exercise, we ladies are probably still doing housework. To which I say, “Ha! Hahahahahaha.”
I’ve been at home for about two weeks now. I’ve picked up the hoover precisely no times, had my mum rip a dress off the hanger so she can guarantee it’ll be ironed before a family party next week (fair enough, it wouldn’t have been) and generally reduced the place to looking not unlike my entirely scary teenage bedroom, from which previously unknown life-forms would sometime emerge to hunt for food.
This might be beside the point, and the results of that study may well be full of positive messages about the potential health benefits of integrating more activity into your every day life, but if reducing the likelihood of my developing breast cancer hinges on me doing 22 minutes more housework every day, then I would rather die. Ok, not really, but I would rather go for a run. Or to pilates. Some sort of activity that I actually enjoy. Perhaps one that might even enrich my life, get a few endorphins going and let me see a few people?
Right now mine is not a life that needs more mundanity added to it, even if it is in the name of fighting off free radicals. I’m stuck in all day, bored, and I’m not going to make it even more boring by filling it up with any more housework than is strictly necessary (kitchen, bathroom, mad run-around when anyone says they’re popping by).
It's bad enough that I have to eat well in the name of cancer prevention (biscuits totally do not count) and not smoke. I’m not fucking dusting as well.
Anyone else definitely not adding another 22 minutes of household chores to their daily list? It’s certainly not what I bought (inherited) a Dyson I never use for. How about we discuss the best 20- 30 minute exercise that’ll help keep us active and help to prevent breast cancer instead.