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