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Healthy Grandparenting Project

Given the widespread provision of grandparental child care, examining its impact on grandparents’ energy-expenditure related behaviors in the broader context of health is imperative.

The maintenance of functional independence and good quality of life is critical at a more advanced age. It has been put forward that an increased duration, frequency and intensity of physical activity combined with a restriction of sedentary behavior is the most important strategy to reduce morbidity risk and to foster health in an aging population.

Using a mixed methods approach, the present project aims to fill a gap in current knowledge on (changes in) caregiving grandparents’ PA levels and SB patterns.
For the quantitative research component of the project, an observational follow-up study will be conducted to examine and compare both energy-expenditure related behaviors linked to body composition and health-related quality of life among caregiving grandparents, non-caregiving grandparents and non-grandparent peers, both momentarily and over time.
A qualitative study using focus group discussions will be conducted in order to understand the underlying factors and mechanisms influencing grandparents’ physical activity and sedentary behavior as a result of providing non-residential care for their grandchild(ren). Additionally, the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic, during which intergenerational contact had to be avoided for a while, on the levels of physical activity and sedentary behavior in grandparents will be questioned.



Primary researcher

Dra. Marie Vermote



Prof. Dr. Eva D’Hondt

Prof. Dr. Tom Deliens

Prof. Dr. Benedicte Deforche








Project related publications

Vermote M., Deliens T., Deforche B., D’Hondt E. (2021) The impact of non-residential grandchild care on physical activity and sedentary behavior in people aged 50 years and over: study protocol of the Healthy Grandparenting Project. BMC Public Health 21, 38 (2021).