Give of Yourself, Give to Yourself: Volunteering is Good for You!

October 2015

We all know about the positive impact voluvolunteernteering has on our communities and our surroundings. All of us understand that altruistic deeds on behalf of those in need can make a huge difference in their lives. But, scientific research indicates that volunteering also has a significant impact on the wellbeing of the volunteers.

It’s a fact: volunteer activities can keep us physically fit and mentally sharp; they can even help us live longer, better lives.

Researchers at the University of Exeter Medical School in England found that volunteers reported lower levels of depression, increased life satisfaction and enhanced well-being. They also found evidence of an approximately 20 percent reduction in mortality among volunteers, compared to non-volunteers.

A study at the University of Michigan Research Center showed that volunteers with a history of heart problems had reduced chest pain and lower cholesterol levels compared with non-volunteers. Volunteers have also been found to recover more quickly from surgery, sleep better, and have healthier immune systems compared to people who do not volunteer.

An increase in cognitive functioning is yet another potential benefit of volunteering, along with reduced anxiety and an overall sense of well-being.

So, while no one’s promising a fountain of youth, there’s every reason to believe that volunteering can help you remain young in body and soul.