Volunteering Improves Health and Longevity

older volunteersGrowing research suggests that volunteering improves health and longevity. A study of 451 volunteers enrolled in the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) completed surveys including questions regarding their volunteer experiences and how these experiences have affected their health and quality of life. The results suggest that volunteering through RSVP is associated with improvements in health and quality of life across a variety of dimensions. Furthermore, these improvements may be particularly greater for women, current volunteers, and older seniors. In the Assisted Living Federation of America’s Senior Living Executive publication last month, the following was reported

  • You can reduce your risk of hypertension or high blood pressure by 40 percent by volunteering 200 hours a year according to a Carnegie Mellon University study.
  • A 20 percent reduction in mortality rates was reported by researchers at Exeter Medical School in England who also reported that people who volunteered had lower levels of depression, higher life satisfaction and better well-being.
  • United Health Group’s report “Doing Good is Good for You” reports that 76 percent of U.S. adults who volunteer say that it has made them physically healthier and 78 percent report lower levels of stress.