It seems that grandparents who often babysit their grandchildren not only get love and good memories but according to a recent study – they also live longer.
The study was published in the Evolution and Human Behavior Journal, and it investigated data of over 500 at least 70-year-old people.
The scientists discovered that the grandparents who babysit their grandchildren have a much lower risk of death than those grandparents who did not watch over their grandchild.
However, there is one important caveat to the study – the study did not include the grandparents who were their grandchildren’ primary caregivers.
Dr. Ronan Factora from Cleveland Clinic said that there is a connection between caregiving and low-stress levels, and we all know what stress does to our body and its connection to a higher risk of dying.
“If providing care to grandchildren and others in need is one way that can actually reduce stress,” he said, “then these activities should be of benefit to folks who are grandparents and provide this care to their grandkids.”
Moreover, there are also many other benefits that come with babysitting a child, Factora says. According to him, as people age it is much more important for them to stay physically active and socially engaged in order to age gracefully. And babysitting gives you just that.
However, he warns that devoting too much energy while taking care of your grandchildren may increase your stress levels. So, balance is key here if you want to get the benefits discovered in the study.
“You want to make sure that you find that right balance between getting the positive benefits of doing enough of an activity to help those in need and avoiding doing too much and getting to the point where the activity makes one overly stressed,” Factora added.
Another research from Australia discovered that spending a normal amount of time babysitting can actually prevent the development of Alzheimer’s Disease. That’s because babysitting lowers the depression levels in the body while intensifying the brain power.
So, grandmas and grandpas you know what to do. By taking care of your grandchildren, you will not only help your children, you will help yourself also. You will live a long and happy life.
Spread the awareness!