Dads have a lot to celebrate on Father’s Day. And as they open their presents this year, they may also want to thank their kids for some marvelous health benefits. According to the latest research, fatherhood helps men lead longer and healthier lives.
Here are four wonderful ways that being a dad can boost physical and emotional well-being.
- Fatherhood literally does a man’s heart good. Dads are 17 percent less likely to die from heart-related disorders than married men with no kids, according to a study published in Human Reproduction. The researchers tracked the health of 137,903 men, ages 50 to 71, for about 10 years.
- Dads take better care of themselves. Family responsibilities may discourage bad-boy behavior, since men’s rates of smoking, drinking, and substance abuse drop dramatically after the birth of their first child, scientists from Oregon State University report. Other studies show that having kids motivates men to exercise more and improve their diet.
- Fatherhood can add years to men’s lives. Swedish researchers studied nearly 700,000 men and found that over a 19-year period, those who lived with their wives and kids were less likely to die from any cause, from heart attacks to injuries and drug addiction, compared to single men with no children or dads living alone.
- Involved dads are happier–and so are their kids. Researchers report that close family ties reduced men’s risk for depression. And kids with supportive, engaged dads enjoy better mental health, cope better with frustration and stress, and feel more joyful.
For more fascinating ways fatherhood changes the brain check out this article.