Another Reason to Let Mom Do the Dishes!

"Housework Activity Helps Elderly Live Longer"

Doing household chores such as washing dishes and climbing stairs can help older adults to live longer, a new study shows.

Every now and then a study is released that just makes so much sense one feels incredibly guilty in ignoring the life-saving advice contained within it. Fortunately the feeling soon passes, allowing one to return to one's normal activities.

Researchers in the U.S. studied a group of 302 adults aged 70 to 82 who lived independently. Participants were followed for an average of six years. About 12 per cent of those who were the most active died during the study, compared to nearly 25 per cent among the least active.

This seems to confirm the veracity of that old maxim "Use it or lose it". Not that I have any perverse desire to flood our nation with an excess of hippity-hoppity senior citizens that by all rights should have ended their session at the giant feed trough of life years ago.

'If they would rather die,' said Scrooge, 'they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.'

Did I think that? Well, excuse me! After all, I am a footsoldier in the noble army of the healing arts and I say if Grandma and Grandpa stay active and thereby hang on for a few more years we all will reap the benefits of their wisdom and experience, even if they do inhale the last remaining shekels of the Social Security Trust Fund.

"The message here is that for older adults, any movement is better than no movement and that this can come from usual daily activities," said lead author Todd Manini of the National Institute on Aging.

Just think - everytime we tell Mom to get her own glass of milk, or remind Dad to take out the trash, we are actually prolonging their life. What benevolent altruists we are! I can just see the old folks beaming years and years from now, when we're all reaching retirement age and...and...

Holy Mother of Pearl - I had better go out and pull some weeds before Mumsy and Popsy have to choose between buying me a hardwood bed - or a metal one.


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Hey, I know this is a funny posting, but may I ask a serious question?

When they do studies like this one, how do they know that the people who are the least active aren't already the sickest, and therefor the most likely to be passing away anyway?