Men looking to lower the risk they run of dying at a premature age can now do something by means of preventing that, a new piece in the Daily Mail
suggests. Based on numbers registered in Sweden, researchers have concluded that fathers who take paternity leave after a child is born are exposed to a decreased risk of dying prematurely – by as much as 25 percent.
As of now, there is no serious data backing this up, says the British publication. However, it is believed that men who take two months off work to stay at home with the newborn baby also start taking better care of themselves, thus are in better health than those who continue working. They eat better, sleep better and are more focused on their family instead of on distractions. Not only that, but they also avoid running unnecessary risks and are under considerably less stress than the fathers who work.
“Fathers who take paternity leave live longer, experts say. According to their study, taking up to two months off work when a baby is born lowers a man’s risk of dying prematurely by almost 25 per cent. Their research is based on the health and habits of men in Sweden, the first country to give new fathers paid time off work. And the experts say encouraging men to take time off when their child is born may help to close the gender gap in longevity. At the moment, men live on average five to seven years fewer than women,” the Mail writes.
“The reasons behind that are not clear, but one theory is that men who are close to their children take better care of their own health. This might mean that they eat healthier foods, drink less, visit the doctor more often or simply take fewer risks in life. Another theory is that making time for family activities cuts stress levels, according to the journal Social Science & Medicine. ‘Strategies aimed at less gender stereotypical expectations on what a man “should do” are on the whole likely to benefit male health, and potentially reduce the gender gap in longevity,’ said the researchers, from Stockholm’s Karolinska Institute, who studied 72,000 fathers,” the same publication further informs.
In the UK, for instance, fathers are only allowed two weeks of paid paternity leave, which is being considered an “outdated” take on the whole matter. Right now, efforts are being made to have the time mothers and fathers can take off work in the form of paid maternity / paternity leave divided equally between the two partners.