Work-life balance for women an Olympic feat?
SLEEP hygiene is no doubt the last thing on the minds of sports fans, who, bleary-eyed from watching the Tour de France on TV, will soon be glued to the Olympic Games coverage.
AMA president Dr Steve Hambleton noted last week that most people fail to function well after repeated late nights.
“Your concentration levels, in fact the health benefits of adequate amounts of sleep and work-life balance, are really, really important,” he told the National Press Club when asked about people staying up late to see the cycling.
Recent research has shown, however, that for married women the Olympics is a boon for work-life balance compared to their usual weekends watching sports chosen by their husbands while fitting in domestic chores and attending to children at the same time.
Focus groups conducted by US communications researchers trying to find out why women don’t watch women’s sports, found that they were too busy doing housework or trying to achieve family “quality time” by watching men’s sports with their husband and children.
Aside from “stereotypically feminine” sports such as figure skating and cheerleading competitions, the women cited the Olympics as a favourite event.
“It is no wonder,” the researchers said.
“The Olympics often feature events in non-traditional time periods – such as during the day or on weeknights.”
The ability to watch sports depends on people’s amount of leisure time, they noted, suggesting women might start watching more women’s sports when men started “accepting a larger share of domestic responsibilities”.
Communication, Culture & Critique 2011; 4:122-43
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