Volunteerism 2
Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Could volunteering be good for your health? A report that looked at the results of more than 30 studies on the topic says yes. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about the report in todayís 60 Second Housecall.

Older people who volunteer enjoy longer lives, higher functional ability and lower rates of depression and heart disease, research by the Corporation for National and Community Service concluded.

Volunteering can give a new sense of purpose and keep people active. This is very important in a culture in which older people often find themselves feeling isolated and alone, proven risk factors for depression and other health problems.

The report found a significant connection between volunteering and good health. It also showed that volunteers have greater longevity, higher functional ability, lower rates of depression and less incidence of heart disease.

Researchers said that people who volunteer about 100 hours per year, or about two hours per week, achieved a health benefit.

It is estimated that more than 61 million Americans volunteer to improve conditions for people in need and to unselfishly give of themselves yearly. While the motivation is altruistic, it is gratifying to learn that their efforts are returning considerable health benefits. Volunteering makes the heart grow stronger.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Iím Dr. Edward Hill.