Volunteering and civic engagement

Most volunteers have 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[4]. Those who give social support to others have lower rates of mortality[2]. High volunteerism rates and high rates of group membership are associated with higher overall opportunity and, specifically, higher economic opportunity[5]. Community group membership can increase exposure to health messages, providing access to health promotion information and, which can lead to improved health for individuals[1]. For older adults volunteering often provides a sense of purpose[3]. Volunteering helps you make new friends and contacts, it increases your social and relationship skills, it improves mood and self-esteem, it lowers stress levels and helps you manage a chronic illness by taking your mind off of your own problems[6].

Rate your health contributing behaviour so we can help you improve.

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I do not agree with this statement. I somewhat agree. This may sometimes be representative. I agree with this statement. It describes my situation very well.
I am active in volunteering activities weekly.
I contribute activily in my community.
I regularly help others who are not part of my closest family.
I organize or help organize smaller social events now and then.
I sign up and volunteer for good cause every 5-10 years or so.
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      Category: Social health

      Research
      • [1] Viswanath K, Randolph Steele W, Finnegan JR Jr. Social capital and health: civic engagement, community size, and recall of health messages. Am J Public Health. 2006 Aug;96(8):1456-61. Epub 2006 Jun 29. View
      • [2] Brown, W.M., Consedine, N.S., and Magai, C. (2005) “Altruism Relates to Health in an Ethnically Diverse Sample of Older Adults.” Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 60B(3): P143-52. View
      • [3] Greenfield, E.A. and Marks, N.F. (2004) “Formal Volunteering as a Protective Factor for Older Adults’ Psychological Well-Being.” The Journals of Gerontology, Series B, 59(5): S258-S264. View
      • [4] Van Willigen, M. (2000) “Differential Benefits of Volunteering Across the Life Course.” The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 55B(5): S308-S318. View
      • [5] Connecting Youth and Strengthening Communities, The Data Behind Civic Engagement and Economic Opportunity - Opportunity Nation. September 2014. View
      • [6] DOING GOOD IS GOOD FOR YOU 2013 Health and Volunteering Study - UnitedHealth Group. View
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