Good deeds can improve health and wellbeing – Naturopathy, naturopathic specialist portal

Volunteer protects the health

Voluntary work and voluntary activity seems to be with benefits for the health and well-being. Among the positive effects of a lower risk of physical limitations and a reduced risk of early death.

In a recent study headed by researchers at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston and Harvard University was established that voluntary or honorary activities to enhance the well-being and the health of the verb and in front of a premature death, and physical limitations protect. The results of the study were published in the English journal “the American Journal of Preventive Medicine”.


There were already some studies which have dealt in detail with the benefits of volunteering for the health and well-being. Among volunteer activities the volunteer is to Help to understand when Working for the common good. In Germany, there are numerous programs, which promote voluntary work. The Voluntary Social year, Voluntary Ecological year and the Federal voluntary service, for example.

Data from almost 13,000 Participants were evaluated

The current analysis was based on data, personal interviews and survey responses of nearly 13,000 Participants, who were randomly selected from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS). The Participants were monitored over a period of four years in two cohorts from 2010 to 2016 medical.

Effects of voluntary work were rated


A growing number of research work has voluntarily brought work in the past, with many benefits for health and well-being in connection. However, it is still not enough clear evidence for the positive effect. The latest large-scale study contributes to closing this gap by evaluating the 34 impact on the physical health and mental/social well-being.

What was the impact of voluntary work?

People are, by nature, social creatures. It is possible that the mind and body of people be rewarded, if they volunteer to help other people, the researchers say. The results of the new study show that voluntary work strengthens the case of older adults, the community, and by binding to other persons, the life of the victim is enriched, a sense of meaning in life and wellbeing, and additionally feelings of loneliness, Depression and hopelessness protects.

Reduced risk of death through selfless activities

Regular altruistic activities (selfless activities) also reduce the risk of death, although the results of the study showed no direct effect on a wide range of chronic diseases, explain the researchers.

What are the effects of 100 hours of volunteer work in a year?

Adults over the age of 50 years, which operate at least one hundred hours per year (approximately two hours per week) volunteer, have a much lower risk of physical limitations and a reduced early mortality, compared with people who do no volunteer work. Further advantages of the voluntary Operation include in addition, a higher level of physical activity and an improved well-being.

No improvements in chronic diseases?

The study confirmed no relationship between volunteering and improvements in chronic diseases such as Diabetes, hypertension, stroke, cancer, heart diseases, lung diseases, Arthritis, obesity, cognitive impairment, or chronic pain.

Policies to support volunteering

The growing number of older people has a wide range of skills and experience, which can be used by voluntary Engagement for the benefit of society. The researchers therefore propose the introduction of guidelines, which is more volunteer support. Such interventions might at the same time improve the society and healthy ageing in the rapidly growing population of older adults promote. However, further studies are needed to understand observed effects better.

Volunteering in times of COVID-19?

In times of COVID-19 social activities are associated with a particular risk, and for the foreseeable future, it not necessarily advisable, report the researchers. However, it could now be a very special Moment in history, when the society needs voluntary services the most. People should be able to do such voluntary work in compliance with health guidelines, this might not only help the company but also the persons concerned. (as)

See also: altruism protects against physical pain.

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