Jobs for the boys
father doing dishes

Some research came out of Cancer Research UK which found that an hour's vigorous housework every day can help to reduce the risk of some types of bowel cancer.

This is great news on two fronts - firstly it promotes an awareness of physical activity as a preventative measure against some forms of cancer, thus addressing a vital mens health issue.

Secondly, it provides a refreshingly new line (notice I didn't use the word nagging) to the long worn equity arguments us guys hear about doing more work around the house - do it or you might die!

Whilst equity in housework is nowadays a practical but unrecognised reality, there are some well-meaning men out there who may be struggling in coming to terms with the right role to play in the balance of homely chores. Scott Avery investigated the various models to adopt, here are just a few:

The control freak

This is the guy who takes care of everything personally. No chore inside or out is beyond reach. The litmus test of whether you qualify in this category is whether you will scrub a toilet with a toothbrush.

Leaders on the brownie-point scale for effort alone, the control freak can also justify indulging in all latest tools. Indulge in the latest DC16 super-sucker Dyson vacuum cleaner that looks like a power ranger gun or a Smeg stainless steel self cleaning oven, without fear of retribution! Housework is nonetheless a question of balance, so you do run the risk of turf wars with your partner if you do too much.

And you might have to explain to your mates down the pub why you can quote from the cleaning bestseller Spotless instead of the Steve Waugh Ashes Diary and why you always stink of domestos.

The delegator

Similar to control freak, the delegator is one who takes responsibility for the lion's share of housework, but has embraced the business practice of outsourcing.

Ideally, if you have a compliant pack of kids you can bribe, much of the work can be delegated to them, thus instilling a sound work ethic during their formative years. Otherwise seek out a professional cleaner, lawn mower or pool-person.

A good professional cleaner may be hard to come by, but when you do find them, you will be able to eat your dinner of the kitchen floor with the silent satisfaction that you were responsible.

The Iron Man

Any business man with perfectionist tendencies who travels regularly needs to know how to iron a shirt.

Ironing is also one of the more high profile tasks you can do - smack bang in the middle of the living room where everyone can see you - so once learned this skill can provide considerable advantages. Starting first with your shirts, you can slowly pick up more and more, then even become adventurous by doing some of her clothes. If you avoid melting her flouncy new satin blouse, further brownie points are yours for the taking.

Then, once you have developed your routine, you release the golden rule of ironing - HE WHO IRONS CONTROLS THE REMOTE! With iron in hand, your cricket and football viewing rights are guaranteed.

The Cheerleader

There are those out there who may opt for a less hands-on role, in recognition to the great skill and expertise their partner brings to the execution of house tasks. There is a still a role to play in providing the direction, motivation, and even occasional constructive criticism to your partner. Whilst you might regard this as a leadership role, others will probably regard you as a lazy slob, so unfortunately for you this approach will barely register on the brownie-point scale

So, jobs for the boys are out there and there are ways and means to extend your involvement. Not only will the help around the house actually be helpful, but you can be proud in the knowledge that your contribution to the home has joined you in the fight against cancer.