30/03/2011 11:48 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Parents Enjoy Life More When Their Children Leave Home

Do you weep at the mere idea of your children leaving home? Do you fear that you'll be left feeling depressed and lonely?

Well, you can put the hankies away. Because a new poll has found that 84 per cent of parents feel that their lives have improved considerably since their children left home.

They feel financially better off, fitter and happier. And because they spend less time cooking, cleaning and running around after children, many rekindle their sex lives, according to the survey commissioned by Unite, a company that manages student accommodation.

The parents questioned in the research said they felt ten years younger – and were better off on average by £600 per month.

Extra free time and money meant that they said they socialise more, and over half wanted to try an extreme hobby such as bungee jumping.

Empty nest syndrome is widely recognised by psychologists and is known to lead to divorce, depression and alcohol addiction.

But the research backs up other studies which found that the effects of children flying the nest can actually be a positive experience. For example, recent research from King's College London found that, far from feeling abandoned and lonely, adults seemed more content if their children lived away from them.

What do you think?
Do you dread the moment your children leave home?
Or, if they have flown the nest, have you found a new lease of life?