Volunteers live longer!
This is one of the findings of a research study called “The Health Benefits of Volunteering” which was done in 2007 by the Corporation for National and Community Service.
According to the study, a growing body of research indicates that volunteering provides not just social benefits, but also individual health benefits for the volunteers.
These are some of the study’s most compelling conclusions . . .
- 1. The health benefits are greater for older volunteers (over 60) than for younger volunteers.
2. Benefits include improved physical and mental health and greater life satisfaction.
3. There is a “volunteering threshold” for health benefits. That is to say, a minimum amount of volunteering is required to derive health benefits from the volunteer activities. Interestingly, however, once that threshold is met, no additional health benefits result from volunteering more. (The definition of considerable volunteering has been variously defined by these studies as 1) volunteering with two or more organizations; 2) 100 hours or more of volunteer activities per year; and 3) at least 40 hours of volunteering per year.)
4. When patients with chronic or serious illness volunteer, they receive benefits beyond what can be achieved through medical care. That’s stunning!
5. Volunteers have lower rates of depression.
The evidence is clear. Volunteers live longer and more healthy lives.
You can read the study here.