Stress More Likely at Home Than Work?


It has always been a belief that stress is more likely at work, but a recent study shows that those at home are more likely to suffer from it. The new study suggests that the labor levels remain the same, but people are not being paid. This could explain the higher levels of cortisol in the system when at home measured in the recent study.

Cortisol is known as the stress hormone was noted to be higher than expected when someone was at home. This was the case with men and women. Sarah Damaske, one of the three Penn State researchers and a labor and employment relations, women’s studies and sociology assistant professor at the university noted that women had lower levels of cortisol at home. She also noted that women feel better when they are at work, whether they have children or not.

There is the thought that the stress levels at work are lower due to people knowing their tasks and knowing that they will be paid for their time. They put in the hours, but see some gain afterwards, which is not the case when it comes to being in the home. Someone can do hours of housework and chores but see no return except for a clean home. In some cases, people who do hours of cleaning never see a sparkling home because children are making a mess behind them.

It is also not surprising that women are more likely to feel more stressed at home than at work compared to men. Despite a move towards equal opportunities, women still tend to take on the tasks of the housework. According to a different study more women find it difficult to balance work and household chores than men. Women are still doing more in the home, despite working the same amount of hours as men.

Some working mothers have spoken out about why their home life is more stressful. When they are around their children they are battling with entertaining younger children, while feeding the older ones. They need to make sure their children are ready for school, and then handle the chores afterwards. While at work, they can concentrate just on work. This is also the case for men, and both genders find their most relaxing time is actually when they are at their workplace.

Those with children also find home life more stressful. As one woman taking part in the Penn State study said, it is possible to quit a difficult job, but not her personal life. That makes it much more difficult, since the personal and home lives have to be dealt with every day. There is also the case of not being appreciated at home, unlike when doing the right thing at work.

From the findings of the study, the three authors believe that those who work outside the home are more likely to have better health than those who are at home all the time. This is because stress seems to be more likely at home than at work.

By Alexandria Ingham




Pew Research

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