Dads face guilt about workouts, just like moms do

October 18, 2014
Dads face guilt about workouts, just like moms do
Both parents tend to view exercise as a selfish behavior that takes up family time, researcher says.

(HealthDay)—Fathers face many of the same family and work barriers to exercise as mothers, new research indicates.

"A decline or lack of among working parents has mostly been recognized as a female issue. The ethic of care theory—that females have been socialized to meet everyone else's needs before their own—explains why women feel guilty when they take time to exercise, though the same principle hasn't been studied for fathers," study author Emily Mailey, a kinesiology researcher at Kansas State University, said in a university news release.

She asked mothers and fathers about the barriers they face in trying to establish a regular exercise program, and found that lack of time and guilt were the main obstacles for both.

"The guilt parents feel is because they think of exercise as a . Fathers reported guilt related to family and taking time for themselves, whereas mothers reported guilt related to family, taking time for themselves and work," Mailey said.

"Fathers mentioned feeling guilty about not spending time with their spouses. That really didn't come up for the women. The men felt guilty about exercising after the kids go to bed because that would be time they could spend with their wives," she added.

Mothers were more likely than fathers to say that work and scheduling prevented them from exercising. Many were able to find time to exercise during the workday, but mothers were less likely to do so because they worried about being judged by their co-workers for leaving to exercise, and lacked time to freshen up after a workout.

"A lot of active dads were taking time during the lunch hour or during the workday to exercise. Moms felt more guilt for taking time out of the workday to the extent that most weren't doing it. If moms were active, they were exercising first thing in the morning," Mailey said.

The study was published online recently in the journal BioMed Central Public Health.

"Regardless of their activity levels, parents view their families as the top priority. Active parents were able to see exercise as something that contributed to the good of the family and that was not at odds with being good parents. As a result, they felt less guilty about taking time to exercise and were more apt to prioritize physical activity because they valued the benefits," Mailey said.

Explore further: Guilt verses gut: Assistant professor helps working mothers find balance with exercise, children

More information: The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about exercise.

Related Stories

Guilt verses gut: Assistant professor helps working mothers find balance with exercise, children

August 21, 2012
(Medical Xpress) -- Guilt is a major obstacle working mothers face for staying active, according to Emily Mailey. She is a Kansas State University assistant professor of kinesiology who researches and develops interventions ...

Dads of newborn twins shorted almost as much sleep as moms, study finds

October 8, 2014
(Medical Xpress)—Mothers of twins struggle to get sufficient, uninterrupted sleep, what with double feedings and all. But a new study by researchers at Case Western Reserve University's school of nursing finds that fathers ...

With kids in school, parents can work out

August 22, 2014
(HealthDay)—Back-to-school time provides an opportunity for parents to develop an exercise plan that fits into the family schedules, an expert suggests.

How parents juggle work hours may influence kids' weight, research shows

August 19, 2014
The way parents balance their work schedules may affect their adolescent children's eating habits, according to Penn State researchers. Those schedules may be even more important than the number of hours the parents spend ...

Recommended for you

Sweet, bitter, fat: New study reveals impact of genetics on how kids snack

February 22, 2018
Whether your child asks for crackers, cookies or veggies to snack on could be linked to genetics, according to new findings from the Guelph Family Health Study at the University of Guelph.

The good and bad health news about your exercise posts on social media

February 22, 2018
We all have that Facebook friend—or 10—who regularly posts photos of his or her fitness pursuits: on the elliptical at the gym, hiking through the wilderness, crossing a 10K finish line.

Smartphones are bad for some teens, not all

February 21, 2018
Is the next generation better or worse off because of smartphones? The answer is complex and research shows it largely depends on their lives offline.

Tackling health problems in the young is crucial for their children's future

February 21, 2018
A child's growth and development is affected by the health and lifestyles of their parents before pregnancy - even going back to adolescence - according to a new study by researchers at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute, ...

Lead and other toxic metals found in e-cigarette 'vapors': study

February 21, 2018
Significant amounts of toxic metals, including lead, leak from some e-cigarette heating coils and are present in the aerosols inhaled by users, according to a study from scientists at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public ...

Why teens need up to 10 hours' sleep

February 21, 2018
Technology, other distractions and staying up late make is difficult, but researchers say teenagers need to make time for 8-10 hours of sleep a night to optimise their performance and maintain good health and wellbeing.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.