Love cooking You might have a healthy diet, but you'll spend less time exercising
Those who exercise are more likely to make meals from scratch as both are part of a healthy lifestyleHowever, one tends to be substituted for the other, as many people don't have time to do bothAs a result, many cooks
subconsciously sacrifice time they could spend exercising to make meals

By
Emma Innes

PUBLISHED:

10:50 GMT, 15 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

10:50 GMT, 15 April 2013

People who spend more time in the kitchen spend less time exercising, according to new research.

A study of 100,000 adults revealed that people who spend hours lovingly preparing a meal often do so at the expense of time in the gym.

The figures, gleaned from Census data, show people who exercise are more likely to make food from scratch as it is all part of a generally healthy lifestyle.

However, it also revealed they
subconsciously sacrifice time they could spend exercising to be tied to a hot stove.

A study of 100,000 adults revealed that people who spend hours lovingly preparing a meal often do so at the expense of time in the gym

A study of 100,000 adults revealed that people who spend hours lovingly preparing a meal often do so at the expense of time in the gym

The study, by the Ohio State University’s College of Public Health, also revealed that whether the person was married or single, a parent or childless, made no difference to the findings.

The figures showed that 16 per cent of men, and 12 per cent of women, had exercised on the day before they were interviewed for the census.

The average amount of time spent exercising was 19 minutes for men and just nine minutes for women.

The average man had spent 17 minutes that day preparing food while the average woman had spent 44 minutes, the figures revealed.

Feeding the data into a computer model showed a direct 'substitution effect' in which time spent exercising is substituted for time spent cooking.

Lead researcher, epidemiologist Rachel Tumin, explained: ‘As the amount of time men and women spend on food preparation increases, the likelihood that those same people will exercise more decreases.

‘The data suggest that one behaviour substitutes for the other.

‘The findings should be used for
authorities to consider changing the way they advise people to live more
healthily, so they build in more tips on how to balance cooking and
exercising.’

The ideal healthy lifestyle should
see food preparation and exercise complement each other rather than act
against each other, Ms Tumin added.

It is believed that people substitute time spent in the gym for time spent cooking as they do not have time to do both

It is believed that people substitute time spent in the gym for time spent cooking as they do not have time to do both

The study also revealed that there are a number of possible reasons why adults may be directly substituting exercise for making meals.

The first is simply a lack of time to fit everything in.

Another is that both are seen as healthy activities so they become part of the whole daily health routine.

For instance, if a person decides to devote half an hour a day to their fitness, they may do 15 minutes of cooking and 15 minutes of exercise.

But alternatively, if they do 20 minutes of cooking they may only do ten minutes of exercise and still consider themselves to have dedicated 30 minutes to their fitness routine.

Ms Tumin said: ‘There's only so much time in a day. As people try to meet their health goals, there's a possibility that spending time on one healthy behaviour is going to come at the expense of the other.

‘I think this highlights the need to always consider the trade-off between ideal and feasible time use for positive health behaviours.’