Research released today by Kellogg's® Special K® has revealed almost all Australian women place the needs of family members or friends before their own. The Remember You™survey* found 98 per cent of Australian women aged 18 and over place themselves at the bottom of the list after all of their other priorities, with 81 per cent saying they feel stressed because they don't have enough time for themselves.
Women's priorities are reflecting the pressures of today's society with 96 per cent of all women saying they would do other things before doing something for themselves, including fulfilling their commitments to family and friends (88 per cent), housework (66 per cent) and errands (63 per cent).
The survey found that as many as 3.5 million Australian women feel that the sacrifices they make for their families are not always appreciated. 79 per cent do most of the housework in their household (even 74 per cent of women working full time) and 73 per cent say they never have enough time to get everything done.
According to Accredited Practising Dietitian and Director of Food & Nutrition Australia, Sharon Natoli, this is not surprising in the least: "Working with women to improve their nutrition and health, we often find they stretch their time to meet the expectations and demands of family, friends, work and society, which leaves little time to look after themselves. This is a real barrier for women to improve their eating and exercise habits."
The stress involved in maintaining a household is often reflected in people's relationships. Among women who are married or in a de facto relationship, 1.2 million would rather their partner do the vacuuming than make love to them and 1.3 million claim they are not in the mood to make love if their home is a mess.
"Not only does this have a serious impact on emotional health, but also the consequences for women's physical health and wellbeing are huge. What's worrying is that it's not that women don't have time to paint their nails; they can't even find time for healthy eating and exercise, essential to help maintain energy levels and overall health and wellbeing" said Sharon.
The survey finds that recently 30 per cent of women had not had time for breakfast; 47 per cent had breakfast while standing up doing other things; 34 per cent had eaten something in the morning on their journey to work or at their desk and 31 per cent grabbed something out of the fridge as they were running out the door in the morning.
It is young women and those with children in particular who are not taking care of themselves with almost half of women aged under 35 as well as those with children saying they have not had time for breakfast.
"This research confirms what women all around the country experience every day. Women need to put themselves back on their 'To Do List'. Whilst it is unrealistic for women to always make themselves priority number one, the Remember YouÃ¤ campaign is about encouraging Australian women to put themselves back on their 'To Do Lists', to eat well and exercise for their health and wellbeing" said Sharon.
REMEMBER YOU TIPS
1. Don't skip meals and don't deprive yourself. The key to success is balance, variety and moderation
2. During your work day try to get out for a brisk 10-20 minute walk at lunch time
3. Try to get a good nights sleep
4. Remember to eat regular meals and have breakfast every day
5. Remember to take time out for yourself and relax on a regular basis
*The Remember You'Ã¤ survey was conducted by Galaxy Research on behalf of Kellogg's® Special K® in November 2006. The study was conducted nationally via telephone with a representative sample of 529 female respondents aged 18 years and over. Remember YouÃ¤ tips attached.