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

A low-gluten, high-fiber diet may be healthier than gluten-free

November 16, 2018
When healthy people eat a low-gluten and fibre-rich diet compared with a high-gluten diet, they experience less intestinal discomfort including less bloating. Researchers at University of Copenhagen show that this is due ...

Youth dating violence shaped by parents' conflict-handling views, study finds

November 16, 2018
Parents who talk to their children about nonviolent ways of resolving conflict may reduce children's likelihood of physically or psychologically abusing their dating partners later—even when parents give contradictory messages ...

Why we shouldn't like coffee, but we do

November 15, 2018
Why do we like the bitter taste of coffee? Bitterness evolved as a natural warning system to protect the body from harmful substances. By evolutionary logic, we should want to spit it out.

Dietary fat is good? Dietary fat is bad? Coming to consensus

November 15, 2018
Which is better, a low-fat/high-carbohydrate diet or a high-fat/low-carbohydrate diet—or is it the type of fat that matters? In a new paper featured on the cover of Science magazine's special issue on nutrition, researchers ...

Low-carb diets cause people to burn more calories

November 14, 2018
Most people regain the weight they lose from dieting within one or two years, in part because the body adapts by slowing metabolism and burning fewer calories. A meticulous study led by Boston Children's Hospital, in partnership ...

Colder, darker climates increase alcohol consumption and liver disease

November 14, 2018
Where you live could influence how much you drink. According to new research from the University of Pittsburgh Division of Gastroenterology, people living in colder regions with less sunlight drink more alcohol than their ...

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.