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Physically Active Working Moms Cope Better

Study shows benefits of moderate-intensity activities.

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Physical activity for moms

Encourage busy moms to make time for a training program, as it may help them better cope with parenting stress and boost their quality of life. Baylor University researchers in Texas conducted a study during the pandemic’s initial stages when lockdowns required employed moms to work from home. Investigators surveyed 200 full-time working mothers and measured levels of parental stress, quality of life and physical activity.

Data analysis showed an association between moderate-intensity physical activity and higher levels of life satisfaction during the pandemic. The higher the amount of moderate-intensity movement, the lower the negative effect of parenting stress on social relationships and quality of life.

Study authors noted that encouraging working mothers to engage in a regular exercise routine with partners or peers may also help meet physical activity guidelines. Limitations of the study included an overrepresentation of white women from high socioeconomic status. Future research in a longitudinal study with a more diverse subject set would help present a more comprehensive picture.

The research appeared in Mental Health and Physical Activity (2020; doi:10.1016/j.mhpa.2020.100358).

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Shirley Archer-Eichenberger, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, is an internationally acknowledged integrative health and mindfulness specialist, best-selling author of 16 fitness and wellness books translated into multiple languages and sold worldwide, award-winning health journalist, contributing editor to Fitness Journal, media spokesperson, and IDEA's 2008 Fitness Instructor of the Year. She's a 25-year industry veteran and former health and fitness educator at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, who has served on multiple industry committees and co-authored trade books and manuals for ACE, ACSM and YMCA of the USA. She has appeared on TV worldwide and was a featured trainer on America's Next Top Model.

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