Altruistic acts such as volunteering could help us to live longer, according to new research.
Altruistic acts are those whereby we show a selfless concern for the wellbeing of others without expecting anything in return. During the Coronavirus pandemic, many people have volunteered in their communities to help those most in need and isolated due to lockdowns.
A research article published this week in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine has said there is growing evidence showing ‘strong associations between volunteering and favourable health and well-being outcomes’.
A Havard study conducted over recent years has looked at data from 12,998 adults in the United States over the age of 50. The results have shown that participants who volunteered for 100 hours or more each year, compared to those not volunteering at all, had a reduced risk of mortality and physical functioning limitations and had higher physical activity and psychosocial outcomes such as more optimistic outlooks.
It has been suggested that volunteering could be recommended to patients in the future if further research shows it can lead to health benefits.
Volunteering has long been considered as a great way to help others and help society, but perhaps it is also good for our own health too.