Scientists have just confirmed what many of us have known for quite some time: that babysitting your grandchildren leads to you having a longer life expectancy.
The study, which was carried out by researchers at the journal Evolution and Human Behavior, looked at 500 aged 70 and older in Berlin, Germany. The researchers concluded that those who babysit their grandchildren live longer lives than those who don’t.
The experts found that the senior citizens who babysat their grandchildren lived an average of seven years after the study, while those who didn’t only lived an average of four years afterwards. They concluded that caring for their grandchildren gives older people purpose while also keeping them active.
“Having no contact with grandchildren at all can negatively impact the health of grandparents,” said lead author Sonja Hilbrand. “This link could be a mechanism deeply rooted in our evolutionary past when help with childcare was crucial for the survival of the human species.”
“Caregiving may give caregivers a purpose of life because caregivers may feel useful for the others and for the society,” added Bruno Arpino, an associate professor at Pompeu Fabra University who was not involved in the study. “‘Caregiving may be thought also as an activity that (keeps) caregivers physically and mentally active.”
It should be noted that this study did not include grandparents who were the primary caregivers for their grandchildren, as having to care for your grandkids too much is actually harmful to life expectancy. However, babysitting your grandchildren sometimes will do wonders for your life and health! Find out more about this in the video below.