Volunteering can help you learn new skills, meet new people and feel good about helping others. Researchers have found it can benefit your health, too.
Healthier blood pressure: A Carnegie Mellon study revealed that adults 50 and older who volunteered about 200 hours a year were less likely to develop high blood pressure than non-volunteers.
Healing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): This is a hard-to-treat condition suffered by nearly 8 million American adults, many of them military veterans exposed to combat. A Saint Louis University study concluded volunteering regularly through community agencies effectively helped more than 300 veterans cope with PTSD.
Protect your brain: Several studies, including Arizona State University research involving more than 13,000 people, found volunteering frequently over a period of years decreased the risk of memory and other thinking problems in later life.
Control weight and blood cholesterol: Teenagers who volunteered to help younger children weekly had lower cholesterol levels and healthier weights compared to a control group who didn’t volunteer.
Live longer: Results of the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study found that people who volunteered regularly and frequently to help other people extended their lifespans beyond non-volunteering peers.
Consider all of these benefits when weighing the idea of giving employees time to pursue volunteer opportunities. Happy, healthy employees always translates into a stronger work culture and more engaged associates.
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