WHY VOLUNTEER FOR A SERVICE ORGANIZATION?

Over the past two decades, a growing body of research indicates that volunteering provides not just social benefits, but individual health benefits as well. This research has established a strong relationship between volunteering and health. Those who volunteer have lower mortality rates, greater functional ability, and lower rates of depression later in life than those who do not volunteer.

KEY FINDINGS of Research:

(1) Older volunteers are most likely to receive greater health benefits from volunteering.

(2) Volunteers must meet a "volunteering threshold" to receive significant health benefits.

(3) Volunteering leads to greater life satisfaction and lower rates of depression.

(4) Volunteering and physical well-being are part of a positive reinforcing cycle.

(5) Evidence suggests the possibility that the best way to prevent poor health in the future,   which could be a barrier to volunteering, is to volunteer.

(6) Individuals who volunteer live longer.

(7) A region’s volunteer rates are strongly connected with the physical health of the region’s population.

Yeung, JWK & Zhang, Zhuoni.(2018). Volunteering and Health Benefits in General Adults: Cumulative Effects and Forms: BMC Public Health. 2018;18:8.



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