Want to volunteer, but need an extra push to sign up for that service opportunity? What if I told you that volunteering not only impacts your community, but can improve your health as well? I’d say that’s a win-win!
I know what you’re thinking: it’s too good to be true. But there is quite a bit of evidence linking volunteerism with better mental and physical health, especially as you age. Let’s explore this correlation and get you on the road to a happier, healthier, more philanthropic you!
The Impact of Volunteerism on Senior Citizens
Volunteering might have the greatest impact on the health of older adults. A study by the Corporation for National and Community Service found that adults 60 and older enjoy the most benefits from volunteering. These older volunteers report better physical health, lower rates of depression, and increased life satisfaction. Seventy-six percent say that volunteering has made them feel physically healthier!
There is even some evidence that volunteers live longer than people who do not volunteer. In 2002, doctors studied more than 6,300 retired persons over 65 and found that those who volunteered had half the risk of fatality of non-volunteers.
Mental and Physical Health Benefits
One study found that, in general, volunteers report greater life satisfaction and better physical health than non-volunteers. A 2008 study by United Health Group found that an incredible 94% of respondents who volunteered in the last year experienced an elevation in their mood.
A 2009 study by Johns Hopkins University revealed that volunteering can actually increase your brain’s functioning. Volunteering helps you stay physically and mentally active—which can impact your health later down the line. But why wait until you’re a senior to start feeling the benefits of volunteering?
Get Active, Happy, and Healthy Now!
Are you convinced that volunteering will impact your health? Then it’s time to get out there and put your thoughts to action! Take our volunteer personality quiz to see the types of opportunities you’re most suited for. Then, reach out to your local United Way, volunteer center, or favorite nonprofit and feel the positive impact that volunteering will have on your mind, on your body, and in your community!