We all know that volunteering is good for the community – it provides emotional support for those who need it, it re-distributes wealth and materials and it helps the environment. But how does it benefit volunteers?
Well, obviously volunteering is a brilliant way to learn new skills, experience new things and boost your employability – but did you know that it has proven physical and mental health benefits? A study on the health benefits of volunteering showed loads of incredible health benefits that even we were surprised at!
Have a peek below.
1. Purpose and life satisfaction
Research suggests that volunteer activities offer those who serve more than just a social network to provide support and alleviate stress; volunteering also provides individuals with a sense of purpose and life satisfaction.
A second study found that, in general, volunteers report greater life satisfaction and better physical health than do non-volunteers, and their life satisfaction and physical health improves at a greater rate as a result of volunteering. (Van Willigen, 2000)
Volunteer activities can strengthen the social ties that protect individuals from isolation during difficult times, while the experience of helping others leads to a sense of greater self-worth and trust.
Those who engage in volunteer activities are less likely to suffer from ill health later in life and may be introduced into a positive reinforcing cycle of good health and future volunteering.
4. Live longer
Even when controlling for other factors such as age, health, and gender, research has found that when individuals volunteer, they are more likely to live longer.
Well, there you have it. Not only does volunteering have an incredible impact on the community and environment – it also benefits your mental AND physical health.
Check out our volunteering opportunities here and our links with local charities here.