Volunteering for Your Health

There is no denying the fact that volunteering is good for humanity. Every society depends on volunteers to help communities stay healthy. Just as volunteering is good for the world, volunteering can be good for the volunteer. Those that volunteer get a sense of enjoyment and personal satisfaction from helping other, but they are also increasing their health and vitality.

Social science studies have explored the advantages of volunteering in people of all ages. The studies measure the psychological incentive of volunteering and the finding suggest that act of helping others goes beyond making the contributors feel good about themselves; it keeps them healthy and could extend their lives. Other studies suggest that younger people who volunteer age slower and older volunteers show improvement in health-related ailments.

Numerous studies indicate that older volunteers as a group tend to be happier than those who do not participate in a volunteer program. In addition to older volunteers being happier, the activity also indicated that their physical health became better over time. One significant study held by Marc Musick and John Wilson discovered that long-term volunteering in individuals who suffered from depression helped alleviate the symptoms and create a better quality of life.

In 1999 the Journal of Gerontology: Social Science, Musick discovered a lesser mortality rate for older volunteers that help others for a small amount of time each week over those who did not volunteer at all. It is proven that social integration, engagement, and support lower the risk of premature death and volunteering offers the kind of socializing the many older adults need. Aside from creating happier people and lowering the mortality rate in older adults, volunteering because it replaces the need to be working enhances a retirees’ quality of life. Volunteering not only helps older individuals remain active, but it also maintains their send of purpose in the world.

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