Divorce is a stressful experience but according to a new study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, it can do good to men’s fitness. Women, on the other hand, are likely to become less healthy.
The research team looked at 9,000 men and women aged 45 or older who had regular treadmill tests to measure fitness and were quizzed about their relationship status over an eight-year period. Karolinska Institute researchers in Stockholm said, “There was a significant increase in fitness levels in men who divorced but ... a decrease in the fitness of divorced women.” They believe that single men have the social pressure of keeping themselves fit to increase their attractiveness and find a partner, while married men no longer have that requirement, or at least they have it to a lower extent. Women’s attractiveness on the other hand might not be related to fitness or strength but to other traits, such as a narrow waist to hip ratio.
Earlier studies suggest that stress of a marriage break-up may harm health irreparably with divorcees having 20 per cent more chronic illnesses than those who never marry. But this latest study suggests divorced men at least can benefit health wise from this stress.