Working moms enjoy better health at age 40


Full time working moms are healthier at age 40 than moms who stay at home or work part time. This is according to a study discussed at the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association in Denver last week.

Work gives women a sense of purpose

“It gives women a sense of purpose, self-efficacy, control and autonomy,” said Adrianne Frech, Assistant Sociology Professor at the University of Akron. “They have a place where they are an expert on something, and they’re paid a wage.”

The persistently unemployed suffer the most

Rather than stir up the old debate of go to work versus stay at home moms, Frech wanted to focus on a new group of moms, the persistently unemployed. This group appears to be the least healthy and in need of more attention. “Struggling to hold onto a job or being in constant job search mode wears on their health, especially mentally, but also physically,” explained Frech. “Women with interrupted employment face more job-related barriers than other women, or cumulative disadvantages over time.”

Good choices prior to first baby key to good health

Frech also found that strategic thinking prior to starting a family was important for moms who wanted to maintain good health. “Examples of good choices could be delaying your first birth until you’re married and done with your education, or not waiting a long time before returning to the workforce.”

Women who get back to work after having baby report better health. They also report more mobility, less propensity for depression and more energy at age 40.

Source: MedicalNewsToday


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