We all know that volunteer activities can be good for the soul. A new study shows that giving back to the community also can give middle-age and older adults measureable health benefits.
The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Southampton and the University of Birmingham in the U.K., found that people in those groups who spent time volunteering had higher mental health scores than those who didn’t. The researchers surmised that volunteering can widen social networks and provide a sense of purpose, especially for folks in retirement.
Interestingly, the benefits are less apparent in younger people – perhaps because they are less likely to lack social activity and purpose.