Most grandparents babysit their grandchildren at least some of the time. Now a new study shows it’s good for their health.
The study was published in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior. This study examined data from the Berlin Aging Study with a focus on 500 people aged 70 and up.
It showed that senior citizens who provided some sort of care to a child had a lower risk of dying over a 20-year period, as opposed to their counterparts who did NOT watch over a youngster. Babysitting grandkids can add to your lifespan!
Although, it is important to note that grandparents who provide primary care to their grandkids were not included in the study.
One doctor at the world-famous Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Ronan Factora, stated that,
“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.”
The doctor then went on to remind us all of the importance of staying physically active as you get older, as well as how important it is to stay socially engaged and cognitively stimulated as we age.
Data from 500 seniors in the Berlin Aging Study shows that those who babysat lived longer – and it didn’t matter whether it was their own grandkids or someone else’s.
Taking care of kids keeps them physically active and helps relieve stress, but overdoing it can cross a line and cancel out those health benefits, the study states.
“You want to make sure that you find that right balance where you are doing what you can to stay active, doing good for the folks that you’re helping out with, but don’t do too much where you get to the point where you’re overly stressed,” Dr. Factora said.
Another benefit is the social interaction that helps keep the brain healthy.
And on the flip side, spending time with grandma and grandpa is also great for kids. It gives them extra stability and emotional support.