• Sweden's news in English

Housework helps men's mental health: study

The Local · 20 Sep 2012, 16:34

Published: 20 Sep 2012 16:34 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

In reaching their conclusions, researchers at Umeå Universtity looked into four factors of domestic responsibility and how it affects couples in a relationship.

“Overall in Sweden, women still do most of the domestic work. However, the study found that it’s much better for men if they take half the work in the domestic responsibilities,” Lisa Harryson, a researcher at Umeå university, told The Local.

The men who didn’t take their half of responsibility on the domestic front were more likely to suffer from psychological distresses such as restlessness, problems with concentration, nervousness and anxiety – even palpitations.

Furthermore, Harryson explains that the problems stretch both ways. Women often feel the pinch after working too much around the home, and can even face higher chances of health risks when working too much.

The test group included over 1,000 people from Umeå, all of whom were the same age and had been closely studied and surveyed since they were together in school in 1981 at the age of 16.

Harryson explained that the optimum balance in a relationship is to have each partner take 50 percent of the work, although this can be tough for both sexes given traditional gender roles in Sweden.

“A lot of people I interviewed told me that they found it hard to bring up the subject of their workload and the respective gender roles involved. A lot of men were sick and tired of fixing the car, for example, but feel stuck in the male expectation.”

The cure? To discuss the workload and the gender expectations with your partner, according to Harryson.

Story continues below…

“People should talk about the situation and try doing things they are not used to doing. Sometimes it’s better for couple to switch roles when it comes to some responsibilities,” she told The Local.

Oliver Gee

Follow Oliver on Twitter here

Related links:

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

17:15 September 20, 2012 by occassional
Swap roles ?

I don't think the wife would find the idea of lying on the sofa and farting very dignified. No deal.
18:57 September 20, 2012 by Svensksmith
Did my wife sponsor this study?
19:02 September 20, 2012 by smm04983
The same thing is happening in the United States. I found a French article basically outlining how the high rate of mental illness in women here is indirectly affecting how men are able to work and perform: http://www.lemonde.fr/idees/article/2012/09/20/quand-internet-torpille-la-politique-d-obama_1763169_3232.html. We are all still waiting on answers as to how and why this is happening...
21:11 September 20, 2012 by dizzymoe33
Growing up in the 70's in our household we all pitched in and we all did everything. My brother and I took turns taking the garbage out and mowing the lawn and washing the laundry and cleaning the house. There was no time for men do this only and women do that only. If it needed to be done it was it didn't matter. I have no problem with this and I also know that men are men and women are women we are all good at some things and not so good at others. Everyone should know how to clean and maintain a home and basic car maintenance and caring for a yard and cooking and mending clothing. That stuff shouldn't matter about specific gender roles.
03:58 September 21, 2012 by rybo1
Well said, Dizzy.
10:15 September 21, 2012 by Abe L
I wish this kind of indoctrination would be forbidden.
10:24 October 1, 2012 by Ale Komvux
If you are living together I think you should share the chores at home. It is not

right that one should do everything. It feels like it is the women. One way to change that is to do a schedule. Who does what during the week. By that you will be involved in all the chores. Get the children involved to and give them some chores. Then you don't have to do so much and the children learn to take responsibility. Everybody gets satisfied and happy.
Today's headlines
Löfven: 'Sweden will double its number of troops in Iraq'
Stefan Löfven and Haider al-Abadi during the visit on Monday. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has promised to double his country's number of troops in Iraq following a meeting with Iraqi counterpart Haider al-Abadi on Monday.

Will Swedes soon be looking for fairtrade porn?
Should Swedes think fairtrade with porn? Photo: Karin Malmhav/SvD/TT

A fairtrade attitude to pornography would be beneficial, Sweden's health minister told The Local.

Presented by Stockholm University
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Simon Paulin/imagebank.sweden.se

Nordic fashion took centre stage in the Swedish capital last week as Stockholm University hosted the “first-ever” academic conference looking at luxury and sustainability in the fashion industry.

Referee, coach and parents in Swedish youth football fight
File photo of a referee holding a red card not related to the story. Photo: Stefan Jerrevång/TT

A football dad broke his leg in the brawl in front of 11-year-old kids after a Hammarby youth football game.

Illicit abattoir kept more than 100 bulls' penises
A couple of young bulls not related to the story. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

Dried cattle genitalia, goats' heads and hundreds of litres of lard were just a few of the many strange finds discovered when police raided a property in Sweden.

This is officially Sweden's most beautiful beard
The most beautiful beard in Sweden. Photo: Memo Göcek

According to a jury of barbers and 'well known bearded profiles', that is.

Presented by Invest Stockholm
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm

You might think it’s hard to make friends in a new city. But if at first you don’t succeed – try something else!

Injured Swedish photographer protected by 'guardian angel'
Swedish photographer Paul Hansen on another occasion. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Photographer Paul Hansen thanked his lucky stars for surviving sniper fire while covering the battle for the Isis-held city of Mosul in Iraq.

How Sweden is trying to smooth relations with Saudis
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven meeting Saudi Arabia's Trade Minister Majid bin Abdullah Al Qasabi. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has visited Saudi Arabia a year and a half after relations turned frosty in a major diplomatic row.

My Swedish Career
'Swedish people love it, but they find it quite odd'
Scottish entrepreneur William Macdonald. Photo: Michael Campanella

Meet the web developer and entrepreneur using traditional Scottish ceilidh dancing to break the ice with Swedes.

Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
Missing rune stone turns up in Sweden
Nobel Prize 2016: Chemistry
jobs available