Academic journal article Human Ecology

Housework Is Just as Tough Today as It Was 60 Years Ago

Academic journal article Human Ecology

Housework Is Just as Tough Today as It Was 60 Years Ago

Article excerpt

DESPITE THE LATEST electronic, ergonomic, and timesaving devices to aid housework, the most tiring household tasks are still scrubbing and mopping the floors, just as they were more than 60 years ago, according to a new Cornell University study.

Tidying up, vacuuming, and doing laundry also rank in the top five most tiring tasks, says Alan Hedge, professor of design and environmental analysis and director of Cornell's Human Factors and Ergonomics Laboratory. He recently conducted an ergonomic survey of household tasks and products with Cornell student Michele Marut for her graduate thesis.

The two researchers went back to 1937 and found a similar Cornell survey that also named the most tiring household tasks as general cleaning, mopping floors, and laundry. But that survey also named ironing and carrying water. "Although we've made progress in reducing housework in the areas of ironing and carrying water, we're not doing much better in these other areas," says Hedge.

"As a result of our study, we recommend that researchers focus on redesigning the process of mopping, scrubbing, and vacuuming," says Marut, now an ergonomist at Kohler Co. …

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