Be Happy, Be Healthy: The Health Benefits of Volunteering
Helping Others Improves Your Well-Being and Longevity
Volunteers help themselves to better health while helping others, according to a study by the Corporation for National and Community Service that reviews a compelling collection of scientific research.
The Health Benefits of Volunteering study found that volunteers have better physical and mental health, and greater longevity than nonvolunteers. The report is available by clicking here.
The research suggests that volunteering is particularly beneficial to the health of older adults and those serving 100 hours annually. According to the report, heathy benefits include:
- Reduced risk for depression
- Lower mortality rates
- Increased longevity
- Greater functional ability later in life
- Increased sense of accomplishment and purpose
- Less incidence of heart disease
“There is now a convergence of research leading to the conclusion that helping others makes people happier and healthier. So the word is out – it’s good to be good. Science increasingly says so,” said Dr. Stephen Post, a professor at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and co-author of the book “Why Good Things Happen to Good People: The Exciting New Research That Proves the Link Between Doing Good and Living a Longer, Healthier, Happier Life.”