The new study claims that spending time with your grandkids is a great way to improve your health and live longer.
The transition from a parent to a grandparent is quite exciting. At one point, we were yelling and screaming our lungs out setting boundaries for our kids. Years flew by and here we are nurturing, playing and reading stories to our beautiful grandchildren. We are no longer the parent with too much work and too little time, but instead, we are parents who can't get enough of our grandchild's wonderful laugh and beautiful smiles.
There is no doubt we enjoy looking after our grandkids. But keeping all the fun aside, a study states that the time you spend with them can actually have a positive impact on your health and make you live longer. According to ABC News, the study conducted based on the data collected from 500 seniors aged 70 or older in Berlin showed that grandparents who babysit their grandkids or anybody else's children tend to live longer than those who don't.
The study focused on three categories of participants that included caregiving grandparents, non-caregiving grandparents, and non-grandparents. The participants were made to undergo various medical tests and interviews in two-year intervals. They were also questioned about the amount of time they spent looking after their grandchildren in the absence of their parent.
The study found that not only did this interaction prove great for elders but it was also very beneficial for children. Spending time with their grandparents gave these kids great emotional support and stability.
Though the study did not pinpoint specifically what it was that increased life expectancy, it stated that elders developed a sense of purpose by helping others. It also made them active, physically and mentally. However, it is also important to strike a perfect balance. "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. Ronan Factora of the Cleveland Clinic said quoted ABC News.
The researchers were astonished to find that grandparents who cared for their grandkids had a 37 percent chance of living longer than the other two categories. They also noticed that there was no significant difference in life expectancy between the other two categories.
The study also talked about people who were non-grandparents. It said that elderly people who offered to provide help to their adult children had a lower risk of mortality that is 57 percent. Other elderly people who did not have kids can improve the risk by helping friends or getting involved in volunteering activities.
With so many benefits, make sure you spend more time with your adorable little munchkins.