Science Says Babysitting Your Grandkids Makes You Live Longer

A study in Berlin of over 500 people showed that grandparents who babysit their grandkids tend to live longer than those who don't.

While most grandparents don't need an excuse to spend time with their grandchildren, if this isn't the most awesome reason to leave the littles with Nana and Grandad this weekend, I don't know what is. 

A peer-reviewed study in Berlin of over 500 people between ages 70 and 103 showed that grandparents who provided some form of care to their grandchildren tend to live longer than those who didn't.

Sorry, what?

According to a study published in Evolution and Human Behaviour, grandparents who babysit their grandchildren showed a lower risk of death over a twenty-year period in comparison to those who didn't and the health benefits of babysitting didn't apply to just grandparents. 

The data analyzed from the Berlin Aging Study also found that older people who act as part-time caregivers for kids who were unrelated also added years to their lives, the same applied for people without children. On average, childless adults who provided childcare lived three years longer.

Grandfather and grandson walking on a beach.
Children who lived near their grandparents had fewer emotional and behavioural problems.

Those involved in the study were followed for almost 20 years and researchers found grandparents who babysit had a 37% lower mortality rate than those of the same age who didn't have babysitting responsibilities. 

Talking to ABC7 News, Ronan Factora, MD of the Cleveland Clinic, who did not take part in the study said: "We know that as you age, you want to stay physically active; you want to stay socially engaged; you want to be cognitively stimulated, and all those things allow you to age well."

And if that wasn't enough for you to do a drop and drive at your mother and father's house, a study at the University of Oxford found children who lived near their grandparents had fewer emotional and behavioural problems

The study led by Professor Ann Buchanan involving more than 1,500 children showed grandparental involvement played a vital role contributing to children's overall well being.

So basically, science says grandparents rock and we should just drop the kids off right now. 

Hand's up who will be hitting up their mum and dad's house for free babysitting services because I know I will.

Kellie Kearney

Kellie Kearney is a Dublin mammy of five kids aged newborn right up to nine. She loves coffee, cloth nappies, travel and sharing her every day true to life family moments on Instagram.

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