BBC News: Housework cuts breast cancer risk
Women who exercise by doing the housework can reduce their risk of breast cancer, a study suggests.
The research on more than 200,000 women from nine European countries found doing household chores was far more cancer protective than playing sport.
Dusting, mopping and vacuuming was also better than having a physical job.
This is so lazy. Correlation is not the same as causation. All alcoholics started off on milk.
So maybe there is something in the nature of the exercises people do when carrying out household chores as opposed to other activities.
Then again, maybe there are other things which go hand in hand with doing a lot of housework.
For example, I would speculate that any person who spends significant amounts of time cooking is getting a more balanced and varied diet that someone who takes five minutes to heat something up or order a takeaway. Women continue to do the majority of cooking for couples and families throughout Europe, so I would speculate that a woman who does not cook herself, is more likely to have a poor diet.
We already know that diet is a risk factor in breast cancer.
One reason a woman might not do housework is that someone has already done it for her or she simply chooses not to. However, I reckon many women who do less than average amounts of housework are very short of time and someone who is short of time is also less likely to get good exercise, plenty of sleep, rest and recuperation.
We already know that lack of exercise is a risk factor in breast cancer. There is some evidence that stress is a risk factor in breast cancer.
Women who do a great deal of housework may be able to do so because they don't work or only work part time. Circumstances in which a person is able to be a housewife will generally (though not always) coincide with higher socio-economic status.
Socio-economic status plays a complex role in breast cancer. Women of lower socio-economic status are more likely to eat less healthily, smoke and drink alcohol - all established risk factors. But women of higher socio-economic status are more likely to delay having children or not have children at all, both of which are also established risk factors.
However, it is very rare these days to have a housewife who does not have children. Therefore, it might be reasonable to speculate that women in the research who did the most housework were relatively wealthy mothers, and therefore at reduced risk of breast cancer.
Of course all this is speculation. I am not a scientist. I don't get paid to come up with controversial headlines - I mean, useful information about disease. So when given such an opportunity, when conducting such a massive study, I didn't have the chance to look at these factors along side the issue of exercise. So what would I know?
Anyway, I'm off to do some close embroidery in an attempt to prevent arthritis in my hands. Oh yes, how many people do you know with arthritis in the hands can do close embroidery? Exactly.