Can Volunteering Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease?

Mark Horoszowski

Mark is the Co-founder of MovingWorlds.org, a global platform connecting people who want to volunteer their expertise with social impact organizations.

volunteering-is-good-for-you

As it turns out

  1. People who vacation regularly are less likely to develop heart disease than those that don’t, and
  2. Volunteering is proven to provide health benefits

So we don’t think its ridiculous to think that if you volunteer your expertise while traveling internationally (i.e. Go Experteering) on a regular basis, you might be able to lower your risk of heart disease.

And while the health benefits of volunteering are still be debated, there is a growing body of evidence that suggests that beyond being good for the soul, it does increase happiness and lower stress. In fact, in the CNCS report titled The Health Benefits of Volunteering:

A strong relationship between volunteering and health [has been established]: those who volunteer have lower mortality rates, greater functional ability, and lower rates of depression later in life than those who do not volunteer.

And according to the HBR article by Tony Schwartz titled More Vacation is the Secret Sauce,

…the famed Framingham Heart Study followed 750 women with no previous heart disease over 20 years. Those who took the fewest vacations proved to be twice as likely to get a heart attack as those who took the most. A 2005 study of 15,000 women found that the risk of depression diminished dramatically as they took more vacation. A 2006 Ernst & Young study found that for each additional ten hours of vacation employees took, their performance reviews were 8 percent higher the following year.

As it turns out, you probably don’t need more rationale to go donate your expertise as you travel internationally, but in case you did, we hope you found this amusing. And if you’re interested in going Experteering, sign-up for our mailing list so we can connect you to amazing opportunities as soon as we launch: www.movingworlds.org.

Here are some other interesting stats about the benefits of volunteering, courtesy of VolunteerMatch:

  • More than 68% of those who volunteered in the past year report that volunteering made them feel physically healthier.
  • 29% of volunteers who suffer from a chronic condition say that volunteering has helped them manage their chronic illness.
  • 89% of volunteers agree that volunteering improved their sense of well-being.
  • 73% of volunteers feel that volunteering lowered their stress levels.
  • 92% of volunteers agree that volunteering enriches their sense of purpose in life.
  • More than three-quarters of volunteers who participate in service activities through work report that they feel better about their employer because of the employer’s involvement in their volunteer activities.

What other reasons do you have for volunteering?

Reader Interactions

MOVINGWORLDS.ORG BLOG