Working mums are healthier than those who stay at home, new research suggests.
A study from the from the University of Akron and Penn State University, suggests that supermums who ‘have it all’ and work full time are more healthy than those who stay home, work part time or have recently been made unemployed.
They found that women who return to full time work shortly after having kids reported greater mental and physical health, including greater mobility, more energy and less depression, by age 40.
Professor Adrianne Frech said: “Work is good for your health, both mentally and physically.
“It gives women a sense of purpose, self-efficacy, control and autonomy. They have a place where they are an expert on something, and they’re paid a wage.”
She said that one group – the persistently unemployed – showed the lowest levels of health and deserved more attention.
Prof Frech said: “Struggling to hold onto a job or being in constant job search mode wears on their health, especially mentally, but also physically.”
She said that full time work had ‘myriad benefits’ over part time, which offered lower pay, less security and poorer chance of promotion.
She said: “Women with interrupted employment face more job-related barriers than other women, or cumulative disadvantages over time.
“If women can make good choices before their first pregnancy, they likely will be better off health-wise later. Examples of good choices could be delaying your first birth until you’re married and done with your education, or not waiting a long time before returning to the workforce.”
Young women should get an education and build up a work history before having a child, she advises.
She said: “Don’t let critical life transitions like marriage and parenthood mean that you invest any less in your education and work aspirations, because women are the ones who end up making more trade-offs for family.
“Work makes you healthier. You will have the opportunity to save a nest egg. Also, should a divorce happen, it is harder to enter the workforce if you don’t have a solid work history. Don’t give up on work and education.”
Source: The Telegraph