Grandparents who babysit live longer, according to science

October 26, 2018 Stories

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It’s basic human instinct to want to live a long and happy life.

In fact, many of us tailor our everyday activities to try and prolong our years as much as possible. Some of us like to eat healthy, others don’t smoke or drink alcohol, others work out everyday or swear by being sociable.

Turns out, there’s an altogether cozier way of extending your lifespan, if a recent study is to be believed. All you grandmas and grandpas out there, listen up … boy, have we got news for you.

Staying healthy

If you’re a grandparent fortunate enough to live close enough to babysit your grandchildren, chances are it’s something you look forward to. Let’s face it, there are few things better than seeing a new life experiencing things for the first time.

Being a grandparent is a responsibility most of us relish after having raised our own children. But did you know that looking after the little ones could actually help you live longer too?

According to a study published in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior – one examining data from the Berlin Aging Study, with a focus on 500 people aged 70 and above – there are interesting results to be found.

The finding show that senior citizens who provide some sort of care for a child have a lower risk of dying over a 20 year period, as opposed to those who don’t. In simpler terms, babysitting could actually scientifically improve your lifespan.

As per Dr. Ronan Factora, of the world-famous Cleveland Clinic: “There is a link between providing this care and reducing stress. If providing this care to [grand kids] and others…is one way that we can actually reduce stress, then these activities should be of benefit to folks who are grandparents and provide this care.”

Of course, that’s not to say that simply minding your grandkids for two hours every weekend is going to allow you to live until you’re over 100.

Doctors advise that you continue to stay as physically active as possible as you get older, as well a remaining socially engaged and busy when it comes to tasks. Physical and cognitive stimulation can be critical in keeping your body healthy in later life, so perhaps just think of looking after your grandchildren as a sweetener for the deal.

I can’t wait for my children to have grandkids; I just know I’m going to be the doting kind.

If you’re lucky enough to have grandchildren, or indeed know someone who is, share this article on Facebook and spread the word.

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