We know that when you become a volunteer, you are actively working to help those in need. But did you know that volunteering can be good for you, and that it can improve your health?
Humans have an innate need to help others but our busy, modern lives often get in way of doing so. Therefore, you feel good about yourself when you help others and when you decide to volunteer, you are also helping yourself.
How does volunteer work improve your health?
Volunteer work can improve your cardiovascular health by lowering your blood pressure and, in this way, improve heart problems. A study done by the University of Michigan Research Center, showed that those participants who volunteered had lower levels of chest pain and cholesterol than non-volunteers.
Another study done on older adults who volunteered demonstrated that those who spend time volunteering may live longer than those who do not.
Volunteering simultaneously gives you a sense of purpose and keeps you active. Studies have shown that volunteering can improve your mood and increase your cognitive functioning. Active volunteers show reduced levels of anxiety and depression and an overall sense of well-being. Volunteers also generally recover more quickly from surgery, they sleep better and have healthier immune systems when compared to people who do not volunteer.