VOLUNTEERING AND YOUR HEALTH
Cindy Dring, Health Promotion Officer
On a personal level
Volunteering has a positive effect on six aspects of personal well-being: happiness, life satisfaction, self-esteem, sense of control over life, physical health, and depression.1
Greater life satisfaction and lower rates of depression
Volunteer now to prevent problems in the future
Volunteers live longer
Volunteers have lower rates of heart disease
Volunteers have less stress
Volunteers have higher levels of oxytocin and dopamine
Volunteering gives you the ‘helper’s high’ (endorphins)
Volunteering enhances the immune system
Volunteering makes you more interesting and adds to your identity
|‘Soup for Life’ campaign raising vital funds for Gorta to fight hunger and poverty in sub-Saharan Africa|
On a community level
Communities with high levels of volunteerism tend to have healthier residents, better academic test scores, and lower crime rates than those that don't. 2
More people had better health in communities with high levels of volunteerism.
More people in communities with strong volunteerism said they're "very satisfied” with their lives.
Communities with lots of volunteer activity had fewer burglaries.
Students in areas with high levels of volunteerism performed better academically.
|Student volunteers deliver Information Communications Technology (ICT) training with ‘Click and Connect’ project|
Volunteering is like being in a health club that is free to join! For more contact ALIVE.
2 Whiteley, P. “Civic Renewal and Participation in Britain .” News release, Economic and Social Research Council.