Caregiving and Physical Activity: Competing Time Choices?

Kanika Arora, Syracuse University
Douglas A. Wolf, Syracuse University

Caregiving for parents is often described as a 36-hour day. Previous research notes that because of the constant attention care recipients require, family caregivers have little time to attend to their own health needs. Using data from the 2008 Health and Retirement Study (HRS), we analyze the extent to which time allocation decisions reflect a conflict between time devoted to informal care and time devoted to self-health promotion through physical activity. The empirical model proposes a three equation system in which the dependent variables are hours devoted to caregiving, frequency of physical activity and hours spent in paid employment. Preliminary results from estimating the three equations separately suggest the presence of tradeoff: they indicate that having a mother with intensive care needs not only decreases the probability of engaging in moderate physical activity multiple times a week, but also increases the probability of never engaging in any moderate physical activity.

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Presented in Session 80: Time-Use in Households and Families