Need a reason to volunteer? Older adults who volunteer are happier and healthier

Did you know that older adults who stay active by volunteering are getting more out of it than just an altruistic feeling? They are receiving a health boost!  A study published in Psychological Bulletin shows evidence regarding the psychosocial health benefits and we thought it was worth sharing again.

Among the key findings:

  • Volunteering is associated with reductions in symptoms of depression, better overall health, fewer functional limitations, and greater longevity.
  • The “sweet spot” appears to be at about 100 annual hours, or 2-3 hours per week.
  • More vulnerable seniors (i.e. those with chronic health conditions) may benefit the most from volunteering.
  • Feeling appreciated or needed as a volunteer appears to amplify the relationship between volunteering and psychosocial wellbeing.

“Taken together, these results suggest that volunteering is associated with health improvements and increased physical activity – changes that one would expect to offer protection against a variety of health conditions,” said Dr. Anderson. Indeed, a moderate amount of volunteering has been shown to be related to less hypertension and fewer hip fractures among seniors who volunteer compared to their matched non-volunteering peers.

West Toronto Support Services appreciates all our amazing volunteers! Thank you!

Interested in volunteering? Let us know.


A West Toronto Support Services (WTSS) news blog post.

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