Regular Volunteering Could Be the Key To a Long Life

Could volunteering lead to a long and healthy life? According to the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, people over the age of 50 who volunteer at least two hours a week have a substantially reduced risk of mortality, less chance of developing physical impairments, and an improved sense of well-being. Loneliness has been linked to premature death by previous studies, including one that claimed it could be as damaging to a person’s health as smoking 15 cigarettes per day. Senior citizens who volunteer have reported a sense of satisfaction and purpose, and some say they've experienced “the helper’s high" — the sense of euphoria that can be experienced soon after helping someone else. It is estimated that more than 4.5 million senior citizens are serving as volunteers in various programs and projects that benefit every sector of society.