People who care about others live longer
An international group of scientists is behind the researchófrom the University of Basel, Australia’s Edith Cowan University, University of Western Australia, Humboldt Universityóin Berlin and at the Max Planck Institute. Study finds that older people who support others are also doing themselves a favor.
TeamóThe researchers found that grandparents whoóThose who care for grandchildren on average live longer than grandparentsóin whichówho do not do so. The researchers to such a resultóThe study was based on an analysis of more than 500 individualsób between the ages of 70 and 103.
Unlike most previous studies on the topic, the researchers intentionally did not include grandparents in the studyów, któThey took care of their grandchildren on a daily basis. Only those individuals were included in the analysis whoówho occasionally provided care for young children. The róalso those whoówho had no children or grandchildrenóin, but were providing care for others through community service or other similar activity. At the other end were people whoóThey do not communicate in any wayób did not help others.
– Supporting and helping others, however, should not be seen as a means to longevity – said Ralph Hertwig of the Max Planck Institute.
– A moderate level of helping engagement appears to have a positive impact on health. However, previous studies have shown that more intense involvement causes stress, which has negative effects on physical and mental health – added.
With the resultóTheir work shows that this kind of care for others can have a positive impact on quality and length of life. Half of all grandparentsóin whichóra took care of her grandchildren, she was still alive about ten years after the first study in 1990. Similar results were found in individualsób, whichóre never had children or grandchildrenóin, but supported others. Half of those whoówho didn’t help others, died within five years of the study.
– It seems very likely that the global warming will continueój pro-social behavior in the family towards their relatives left its mark on the human body by affecting the nervous and endocrine systems. This laid the foundation for the development of altruistic behavior toward strangers – explained Sonja Hilbrand, a doctoral student in the Department of Psychology at the University of Basel.