Invest in Your Health
Discover the healthy benefits of helping others.
There are many reasons to volunteer, like giving back to the community or social networking. There is another important reason to volunteer, that you may not have considered: Volunteering is good for your health.
Yes, studies show that volunteering provides benefits to both your mental and physical health. This means that the time you spend volunteering offers a double advantage: You help others and you're also helping yourself. Research demonstrates that volunteering:
Improves physical well-being.1
The social interaction that volunteering entails can actually reduce heart rate and blood pressure, increase endorphin production, enhance your immune system, and buffer the impact of stress.
Raises self-confidence and self-esteem.2
Evidence suggests that volunteering has a positive effect on social psychological factors. The experience of helping others can lead to a sense of greater self-worth and confidence. And volunteering can provide you with a sense of purpose, especially in tough times.
Encourages friendships that buffer against stress and illness.3
Volunteering gives you the opportunity to meet and connect with new people, in new surroundings. It helps you build vital interpersonal ties and social networks that can combat depression and isolation.
Volunteering may help you live longer.4
Studies show that being actively involved in ongoing volunteer work actually increases life expectancy—while improving the quality of life at the same time.
And the earlier you start, the better. Research tells us that those individuals who volunteer at an earlier point in their lives experience greater functional ability and better health outcomes later on in life.5
The bottom line is that there is a relationship between volunteering and health benefits. So, if you have been thinking about volunteering, don't wait a minute more. Find out about opportunities in your area now.
- Source: Get Involved.gov, "Health Benefits of Volunteering"
- Research Summary: Graff, L. (1991). Volunteer for the Health of It, Etobicoke, Ontario:Volunteer Ontario
- Source: GetInvolved.gov, "Health Benefits of Volunteering"
- Source: Moen et al., 1992; Lum and Lightfoot, 2005; Luoh and Herzog, 2002; Morrow-Howell et al.,2003
- Source: Int J Aging Hum Dev. 1998;47(1):69-79.Wheeler JA, Gorey KM, Greenblatt B. University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada