Reuters recently reported on a study that attempted to come up with a measureable link between physical health and relationship status. We have heard that many partners within long-term, monogamous relationships tend to "let themselves go," but is that true? And if it is marriage that allegedly leads to deteriorated fitness levels, then would being single or getting a divorce result in improved health? In order to try to answer that question, researchers from Dallas followed groups of 6,900 men and 1,971 women over a span of three years. During that time, the participants answered survey questions about their relationship statuses. Researchers also tested the individuals' physical fitness levels at different times throughout the study. The following were trends that the surveys uncovered: Fitness levels Deteriorated Men who stayed single throughout the entire duration of the study Men who married at some point throughout the duration of the study Men who remarried at some point throughout the duration of the study Fitness Levels Remained the Same Women who married at some point throughout the duration of the study Men who were married throughout the entire duration of the study Women who divorced at some point throughout the duration of the study Fitness Levels Improved Women who were single throughout the entire duration of the study Men who divorced at some point throughout the duration of the study As you can probably see, there are more conclusions about men according to the study, and researchers admit that that is likely because of the fewer amount of women surveyed. But by taking these results of the study alone, researchers still are thrilled with the fact that they believe they've found a clear correlation between social status and people's health responses. So, what do the study's findings tell us? For women, it sounds like staying single is the healthiest option. And while divorce apparently doesn't help women's physical fitness, it does help men's. If men, therefore, are in unhealthy relationships, getting out could mean better health. Those could be a couple of the lessons that the study teaches us, but a doctor who worked on the study has his own, more realistic message: "I think a message to the public is that they need to be aware of the possible effects of life transitions, and try to maintain a healthful lifestyle." Basically, no matter what you relationship status is, your health should be a top priority. Source Reuters: "Is marriage bad for your physical fitness," Amy Norton, 17 Dec. 2010
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