VOLUNTEER, ITS GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH! Recent studies on the relationship between health and volunteering demonstrate that the benefits of volunteering are not limited to the recipients of the volunteer services. (Dulin and Hill, 2003; Brown et al., 2005; Brown et al., 2003; Liang et al., 2001; Morrow-Howell et al., 2003; Midlarsky and Kahana, 1994; and Schwartz et al., 2003) In fact, these studies show the benefits derived from serving. Those who give support through volunteering experience greater health benefits than those who receive support through these activities. For example: Ø A longitudinal study of older married adults found that those individuals who reported providing instrumental support to friends, relatives, and neighbors had lower rates of mortality five years later than those who had not reported providing support. In addition, providing support was found to have a stronger relationship with longevity than receiving support from others. (Brown et al., 2003) Ø 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. At the same time, older volunteers experience greater increases in life satisfaction and greater positive changes in their perceived health as a result of their volunteer activities than do younger volunteers. (Van Willigen, 2000)
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